PayPal is deepening its relationship with Facebook, and will now become one of the payment options within Messenger, among other integrations. That means customers who shop via the growing number of chatbots from online merchants will be able to transact on Messenger using PayPal’s payment service. In addition, as part of this deal, PayPal says it will make it easier to link your PayPal account to Facebook and Messenger, and it will roll out support for receiving notifications about PayPal transactions to Messenger users in the U.S.
PayPal’s integration with Messenger had been previously announced.
Facebook had been beta testing payments in Messenger with select developers, and said that it would roll out this capability more broadly by the end of the year. In addition, Messenger payments are not being limited to PayPal – customers can transact using their payment info already stored in Facebook and Messenger within the bots, as another option.
Plus, Facebook has said it’s working with others in the industry, including Stripe, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, not just PayPal and PayPal-owned Braintree.
Still, gaining a foothold in Messenger is a big step for PayPal, which could benefit from its exposure to Messenger’s sizable user base. PayPal has 192 million users worldwide, the company says. Meanwhile, Messenger reached a billion users earlier this year, and reports claim that about 40% of U.S. mobile users are now on Facebook’s messaging platform.
That being said, PayPal and Messenger’s forthcoming integrations are U.S.-focused for the time being. PayPal will roll out as a payment option in Messenger only to U.S. users, and only U.S. users will be able to access their PayPal transactions and receipts from within Messenger, as well.
This will change, it seems, as PayPal tells us that the integrations are “starting” in the U.S., but declined to comment on the timeframe for international expansions. (PayPal says it’s currently in conversations about the “how” and “when,” in terms of bringing this service to other countries.)
The Messenger integrations are beginning to roll out now in the U.S., PayPal says, however.
Facebook has been working to better integrate payments into its platform for some time now. For example, in spring 2015 it debuted a way for Messenger users to add their own Visa or MasterCard payment information into its chat app in order to send peer-to-peer payments to friends. The move was meant to rival Snapchat’s payments, as well as those p2p offerings from Square (Square Cash), Google Wallet, as well as PayPal itself, and its Venmo application.
With this new deal, it would seem Facebook is softening its competitive stance, but the company had earlier claimed it had no interest in building a payments business.
Facebook and PayPal have partnered on other payment initiatives in the past, of course. Most recently, that was with Uber’s integration into Messenger, allowing users to hail a ride through Facebook’s messaging application. (In that case, PayPal-owned Braintree is powering those transactions.)
And PayPal is used today by merchants who are buying Facebook ads, selling products directly on their Facebook Pages’ “Shop” sections, and is a supported payment method on Facebook-owned Oculus’ site.