Facebook is preparing for the launch of its digital wallet – Novi. The company’s senior executive has said the e-wallet will allow users to store cryptocurrencies. The wallet will be connected to the Diem blockchain payment system. Facebook is currently waiting for regulatory approvals for the launch.
David Marcus who heads Facebook’s financial services division wrote in a blog that Novi would play a crucial role to improve the global payment system which he deemed “a broken payment system.
He wrote that the current payment systems are “costly, slow, and not interconnected”. Citing digital payments rise post-COVID-19, he stressed it is now “critical than ever for businesses and policymakers” to establish digital payment systems.
He added, “Change is long overdue. It’ll happen one way or another. Novi is ready to come to market. We feel that it’s unreasonable to delay delivering the benefits of cheaper, interoperable, more accessible digital payments.”
Facebook’s preference was to launch Novi with Diem, which will launch as a single coin backed by the US dollar but the latter’s status is uncertain. Marcus said, “It all depends on how long it is going to take for Diem to actually go live and that is not something I am personally looking after.”
Facebook and Digital Payment: A Long Due Project
Facebook had revealed in 2019 that it wanted to launch a cryptocurrency called “Libra”. This plan couldn’t pan out due to the possibility of data breaching and other security concerns.
Libra changed its name to Diem last year in December. The company has also moved to the US which might make it feasible for Facebook to coordinate its e-wallet project more closely.
But Facebook has faced resistance over the years in its digital payment goals. In its defense, Marcus writes that the social media giant is already “an actor” in the payment industry. He cites that Facebook Payment has involved above $100 billion payments volume in more than 160 countries in 55 currencies.
He adds, that once Novi launches, Facebook will be “a trusted player” in the digital wallet industry and will bring a “positive change.”
After coming into prominence Facebook has remained a top platform for Social media. It also owns Instagram, WhatsApp among other popular platforms. For Facebook, A digital wallet will be another strategic venture for the social media king.