Facebook continues to search for increased consumer mindshare and new sources of revenue as it moves further into the consumer payment and purchasing space. In the past two weeks, Facebook announced that it would be bringing out a platform for Messenger, with an API, business interface, and a developer program and, most importantly, a P2P payments offering. By doing so, Messenger is  following in the footsteps of the example set by cross-platform messaging competitor WeChat of China.

WeChat maximizes its revenue per user by providing an all-inclusive messaging platform, for shopping, banking, and gaming. At slightly more than one third of Facebook’s base, Messenger’s 500 million active user base, already massive, still leaves plenty of room for growth. And David Marcus, who is leading Messenger, moved over to Facebook from his position as president of PayPal with several successful startups behind him, so he’s got the right qualifications.

But despite Messenger’s carefully crafted design, consumer brand perceptions will likely throw a monkey wrench into Facebook’s plans. Unfortunately, Facebook  ranks among the bottom three brands in the U.S. for trust and privacy protection, when Javelin surveyed consumers about their perceptions of the top banks and payment networks, biggest mobile network operators, and technology providers Apple, Google, Amazon, and PayPal-eBay.

What does this mean? Facebook needs a partner that can bequeath it the necessary trust and security qualifications it lacks. Until then, Facebook Messenger’s new P2P platform will struggle to gain traction among consumers.


About Mary Monahan

Mary Monahan is Executive Vice President and Research Director of Mobile for Javelin Strategy & Research.

Mary brings 10 years of successful direct financial services industry experience to her clients.  Before joining Javelin, she was a Vice President at Wells Fargo Bank where she supervised a $650 million portfolio of commercial, consumer, and real estate loans; and co-directed lending for 35 retail branches, five business-lending centers and one real estate loan center. She specializes in the psychology of why people spend money and the implication for mobile initiatives.

Ms. Monahan’s prior experience includes:

  • Vice President, Commercial Banking Group, Wells Fargo Bank, Los Angeles County, CA.Marketed and managed tailored financing services to growth companies.
  • Assistant Vice President and Manager, Business Lending Center, Wells Fargo Bank, Southern CA. Tripled portfolio; penetrated new strategic asset area for bank.
  • Loan Supervisor, Retail Banking Group, Wells Fargo Bank, San Jose Region, CA. Co-supervised a $652 million portfolio of commercial, consumer, and real estate loans; Co-directed lending for 35 retail branches, five business-lending centers and one real estate loan center; Managed loan officer training and mentoring.

Ms. Monahan holds a B.A. in Economics/English from San Diego State University and an MBA, with a concentration in Finance, 2000, from the Graduate School of Management, University of California at Davis. Ms. Monahan was awarded the University of California Scholar’s Grant and the Faulkner Fund Grant. She resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.


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