Facebook Launches Digital Wallet Pilot Program

If you’ve always been a bit “iffy” about sending money via Facebook Messenger, the company now offers another option for secure and convenient financial transfers.

Facebook has rolled out a beta version of its official digital wallet, as reported by a series of tweets by the head of Facebook Financial. This service, called Novi, goes above and beyond Facebook Messenger-based money transfers, as it is designed to combine the security of a cryptocurrency wallet with the convenience of modern money-sharing apps.

What does this mean? The wallet can safely store deposits, as Facebook has partnered with Coinbase, and allows for free money transfers outside of the company’s ecosystem. Coinbase will be handling the storage and security of the funds, given its track record.

“People can send and receive money instantly, securely, and with no fees,” wrote project lead David Marcus. “We have an opportunity to help change the game for so many people who have been left behind by the current financial system.”

Of course, this is an early pilot program so it comes with some major caveats. First and foremost, Novi is currently available only to Facebook users located in the United States and Guatemala. Also, Novi was set to launch alongside Facebook’s official cryptocurrency, Diem. The crypto asset is still facing regulatory approval, so Novi is now tied to the Paxos stablecoin. Stablecoins are tied to a pre-existing currency and Paxos is pegged to the USD.

Diem is still coming and Facebook says it will be the cornerstone of the whole service when it launches.

If you live in the US or Guatemala, you can download Novi as a standalone app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

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