Facebook Shares Ambitions for “Single Wallet Experience” Across the Metaverseby Fintechnews Switzerland June 7, 2022
In a new blog post, Meta Platforms’ head of commerce and fintech, Stephane Kasriel gives a sneak peek of the company’s fintech ambitions in the metaverse, outlining its intent to bring forward a “single wallet experience” across its family of apps and platforms, as well as the need for interoperability between virtual environments.
Published on May 11, the blog post sheds light on Meta’s priorities in the fintech area, stressing that it will be putting a pause on expanding its payment business into new countries, focusing instead on improving its offerings in the countries it’s already in.
Reflective of its October 2021 rebrand, Kasriel says Meta’s payments service Facebook Pay will be rebranded to Meta Pay to align with the firm’s broader metaverse efforts and ambitions.
One area the company will be focusing on is enhancing and simplifying the payments experience across its platforms, an ambition that will take the form of establishing a “single payment experience,” Kasriel says.
While Meta is still in the very early stages of scoping out what a single wallet experience might look like, he says the company has nevertheless identified three key objectives: individuals and businesses should be able to use that one wallet to prove who they are and carry that identity into different experiences in the metaverse; they should be able to store the digital goods they own and take them wherever they go; and they should be able to pay easily and with the payment method they want wherever they are in the ecosystem.
The metaverse has the potential to be much more interoperable and portable than many online experiences available today, Kasriel says, allowing people to travel seamlessly between one part of the metaverse and another.
Practically speaking, this means that, if designed properly, people will be able to buy something inside one environment and use it in another. They will also be able to bring their avatar and identity across different worlds and environments.
For creators, interoperability and portability mean not be locked into islands of content, be able to have a relationship with fans irrespective of a specific platform, and being able to sell subscriptions or packages across all the different places where they want to show up.
Meta’s strive for interoperability is further evidenced by its involvement in Defining and Building the Metaverse, an initiative unveiled two weeks ago at the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting.
Led by WEF, the multi-stakeholder network aims to provide guidance on how to build an ethical and inclusive metaverse. It focuses on two key areas: the governance of the metaverse and how the technologies and environments of the metaverse can be developed in safe, secure, interoperable and inclusive ways; as well as value creation and identifying the incentives and risks that businesses, individuals and society will encounter as the metaverse comes to life.
Other areas of focus
In addition to its payments ambitions, Kasriel says Meta will also be investing in so-called “messaging commerce,” or conversational commerce, an area which has picked up significantly since the beginning of the pandemic.
In Thailand, for example, Kasriel says entire businesses are now being run on WhatsApp and Messenger, a trend which has enticed the company to build and introduce new ways for people to ask questions about specific products, make purchases, and receive order confirmations, tracking numbers and delivery status updates in real-time — all within Messenger.
Finally, for content creators, Kasriel says Meta will continue its investments to help them monetize through features that streamline payouts and new products.
One recent development on this topic is the launch last month of Meta’s first non-fungible token (NFT) offering, a test of digital collectibles on Instagram. The feature allows a select group of US creators and collectors to share and showcase the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) they have created or bought on Instagram.
It includes a connection with a digital wallet, the ability to share and post-digital collectibles and their public information, as well as automatic tagging of both the creator and collector.
The feature only supported NFTs built on the Ethereum and Polygon blockchains at the launch but will expand to Flow and Solana shortly.
Kasriel says Meta will also be bringing the test to Facebook soon.
Beyond NFTs, Kasriel says there is a multitude of other Web3 tokens which Meta feels are compelling. These include social tokens, community tokens, governance tokens, as well as tokenized real-world assets.
Featured image credit: edited from Freepik