Meta even brings up the metaverse when rebranding its payment system

Meta continues the Meta-fication of its brands by renaming Facebook Pay, the payment system available on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, to Meta Pay. The change will happen “soon”, according to a blog post from Stephane Kasriel, Meta’s head of commerce and financial technologies, and is the latest indication that the company formerly known as Facebook is all-in on the metaverse.

“We’re focused on improving the payment experiences we already offer with Facebook Pay, where we’re seeing good adoption,” Kasriel wrote. “And with that an emphasis on quality in the countries where we are already, instead of expanding to new countries now.” According to Kasriel’s post, people in businesses in 160 countries are using Meta’s platforms to make payments.

Meta is also looking at how to simplify the payment experience on its platforms. While Kasriel painted a broad picture, he didn’t share many details:

We see this as a single wallet experience that people can use to showcase who they are, what they own and how they pay. We’re in the very early stages of exploring what a single wallet experience could look like and will have more to say later. But to break through our early thinking, we look at: how to prove who you are and carry that identity to different experiences in the metaverse; how to store your digital goods and take them with you wherever you go; and how to pay easily and with the preferred payment method, whether that be to a friend or buy from a company or maker.

Kasriel also discussed how Meta thinks about Web3 technologies such as blockchain and NFTs. “Imagine a world where entertainers or athletes can sell NFTs that fans buy to display in their virtual Horizon Homes,” he wrote in an example. (Horizon Worlds is Meta’s social metaverse platform.) “Or imagine this all coming together when your favorite artist plays a concert in the metaverse and shares an NFT that you can buy to get a backstage pass to after the show.

“In addition to NFTs, there are a host of other Web3 tokens that we think are compelling – social tokens, community tokens, governance tokens – as well as tokenized real-world assets,” he added. “There are a lot of opportunities here and we’re taking steps to better understand them and what they can mean for the metaverse.” Meta is already dipping its toes in the water with NFTs — it announced this week it would begin testing the ability to share NFTs on Instagram, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said “similar functionality” is coming to Facebook soon.

Kasriel took over from David Marcus, who headed Messenger and then Meta’s stalled cryptocurrency project after he left Meta late last year. While Meta pulled out of that cryptocurrency project in January, based on Kasriel’s blog published Thursday, it’s clear that the company sees many other opportunities in payments and blockchain. By the way, Marcus is still involved in cryptocurrency; on Thursday, he announced his newest company, light parkwhich was created to “explore, build and expand the possibilities and utility of Bitcoin”.

Despite his vocal metaverse ambitions, Meta is slightly lowering his investment in the idea. Reuters reported on Wednesday that the company is telling staffers in its Reality Labs division prepare for budget cuts (although no layoffs are planned). But the company is still pushing hard on virtual reality, with Zuckerberg showing off Meta’s upcoming high-end virtual reality headset in a short demo video earlier on Thursday and having big plans for augmented reality hardware.

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