receives compensation from some of the companies listed on this page. Advertising Disclosure
BDC Hamburger Icon


BDC Logo
Search Icon
Updated Apr 15, 2024

What Is Meta Pay (Formerly Facebook Pay)?

Social media giant Meta has created an easy and secure way to purchase products and services. Should you add it as a payment method for your customers?

author image
Donna Fuscaldo, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
Verified CheckEditor Verified
Verified Check
Editor Verified
A editor verified this analysis to ensure it meets our standards for accuracy, expertise and integrity.

Table of Contents

Open row

Have you ever wanted to allow customers to buy something seamlessly from Facebook or Instagram? If so, consider Meta Pay, which was called Facebook Pay until 2022. Meta Pay is gaining momentum as a payment platform for companies that practice social selling via Meta’s platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. Businesses can also add a Meta Pay button to their e-commerce websites, similar to PayPal’s setup. 

We’ll explain how Meta Pay works and how to determine if it’s a suitable payment option for your business.

What is Meta Pay, and how does it work?

Meta Pay is an easy and secure way for consumers to purchase products and services online and via Meta’s social platforms. When consumers sign up for Meta Pay, they agree to let Meta store their payment information. They can input their account information manually or connect their PayPal account. After that, it’s easy to buy from vendors within Meta’s apps and from participating online sellers. Meta Pay users can also create a PIN or activate biometric authentication for added security.

Businesses that sell online can add Meta Pay as a secure payment option (if they work with Shopify) or enable Meta Pay in their Instagram and Facebook shops. Your customers can also make payments via Messenger and WhatsApp.

What can customers use Meta Pay for?

Here are some things you can do with Meta Pay:

  • Pay friends and family through Messenger and WhatsApp.
  • Donate to charities and fundraisers on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Purchase products from brands on Instagram and Marketplace.
  • Buy event tickets on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Make in-app purchases on all of Meta’s platforms, including in Facebook and Instagram shops.
Did You Know?Did you know
Meta Pay can help businesses reduce friction on e-commerce websites by creating a seamless, secure way for customers to pay.

How do customers use Meta Pay?

To use Meta Pay, a customer must have an account on a Meta platform. Here’s how customers set it up, using Facebook as an example:

  1. Launch Facebook, and log in to your account.
  2. Select the Menu icon on the top right of the Meta homepage, next to your profile. (It looks like a square with nine dots.) In the Facebook app, the Menu option is on the bottom right.
orders and payments

  1. Under the Shopping header, select Orders and Payments.
meta pay pop up box
  1. Select Continue in the pop-up box. 
Facebook meta pay
  1. Select Credit and Debit Cards to add a card to your Meta Pay digital wallet. Optionally, select Add Payment Method to add PayPal or Shop Pay to your Meta Pay digital wallet. 
enable PIN
  1. Select Settings from the menu on the left to enable a PIN for additional payment security. 
send and request payments from a Facebook friend
  1. To send or request a payment from a Facebook friend, access or start a Messenger chat via the Messenger app and select the plus sign. (You’ll see a dollar sign if the person isn’t a current Facebook friend.)
send and request payments
  1. You’ll see “Send and request money.” Select Get Started.
Request or pay money
  1. Enter an amount, and tap Request or Pay. 
meta pay
  1. Once set up, Meta Pay becomes an available payment method. It can also be linked to a user’s Instagram page.

How do businesses enable Meta Pay?

Businesses need a developer to integrate Meta Pay into their website as an e-commerce payment option. However, if your business sells via Meta, Instagram or Messenger, there is no necessary integration; your customers can simply select Meta Pay at checkout. The money is usually deposited into your account right away. Payments that aren’t processed immediately are reviewed within 24 hours. 

If your business uses Shopify’s e-commerce platform, checkout on Meta and Instagram is powered by Shopify Payments, which lets you keep all of your payment processors in one place. Read our comprehensive review of Shopify Payments to learn more. Once your store has Shopify Payments enabled, you’ll receive money from Shopify Payouts when customers check out using Meta Pay. 

FYIDid you know
Regardless of where you sell, you will need to integrate Meta Pay with your payment processor or via PayPal credit card processing because Meta Pay itself does not process payments.

How much does Meta Pay cost?

Meta Pay is free. Businesses and consumers aren’t charged a fee to send or receive money. However, you need to hire a developer to integrate it into your website, and you must have either a PayPal account or a payment processing account set up to use it.

Is Meta Pay safe?

Data security issues and credit card fraud are top e-commerce pitfalls. Given Meta’s track record with data breaches and scandals, it’s understandable to wonder whether Meta Pay is safe. The good news is that Meta Pay goes to great lengths to ensure secure payments. The following security measures are in place:

  • Anti-fraud technology: Meta deploys anti-fraud monitoring technology to detect unauthorized activity.
  • Encryption and advanced data storage: Meta Pay encrypts payment card and bank account information.
  • Alerts: Meta Pay will notify you if it detects unusual activity.
  • PIN and biometrics: Users have the option to create a PIN or enact the fingerprint or facial recognition on their mobile device for an extra layer of security. When sending money, you will be required to input the PIN or clear the biometric scan. Meta will not receive or store the device’s biometric information. This added level of security may not work with all payments.
TipBottom line
Other online payment security tips for businesses include using two-factor authentication, buying cyber liability insurance, and using a third-party transaction partner to store customer payment details.

What are the pros and cons of Meta Pay?

As with most services, Meta Pay has pros and cons. Before you decide whether to accept it as a payment method, weigh the upsides and downsides.

Pros of using Meta Pay

  • Meta Pay is free. Meta Pay is free for consumers and businesses. You won’t be charged for sending or receiving money via Meta Pay. It’s a great option for businesses that must cut costs.
  • Meta Pay streamlines social media purchases. Meta Pay is an easy way for small business owners who sell on social media to get paid. You can use it across all of Meta’s apps, so customers on Instagram and those reaching out to you through Messenger can easily pay for your goods and services.
  • Meta Pay setup and usage are simple. Meta Pay is simple to set up and easy to use. After it’s set up, you won’t have to input your bank card information again. You can also track payments and search payment history within Meta Pay.
  • Meta Pay offers purchase protection. Meta Pay offers free purchase protection on eligible purchases. This covers situations where the item is damaged, substantially different from described or never received.

Cons of using Meta Pay

  • Meta Pay usage is limited. Meta Pay may not be helpful for online merchants that operate a storefront without Shopify as an e-commerce platform or that don’t need to accept payments through Meta’s apps.
  • Meta Pay is an added complication. Meta Pay isn’t a leading digital payment method yet. If you accept it, you must still accept other payment options to keep customers happy. Managing multiple payment types could become complicated for some business owners.
  • Meta Pay has a longer sales deposit time. Although Meta Pay transfers money immediately, your bank may take a few days to approve the transactions. This could slow down payments and hurt your cash flow.
FYIDid you know
Other popular digital payment methods include mobile POS systems; smart speakers, like Google Home; and digital wallets, like Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

Which is better: Meta Pay or PayPal?

Meta Pay isn’t the only digital payment method that’s popular with consumers and small businesses. PayPal, a leader in digital payments, is also a viable choice.

The digital payment option you should use depends on your business. If most of your sales come from Marketplace or Instagram, Meta Pay may be sufficient. But if you’re selling online in multiple locations, PayPal may be the better option.

Choose Meta Pay if …

  • You’re a small merchant without a storefront or payment processor.
  • Most of your sales come from one-on-one contacts with customers who purchase through social media or in person at events.
  • You’re looking for a free way to accept digital payments.

Choose PayPal if …

  • You operate an online business and sell your products through multiple venues.
  • Your business accepts several payment methods and has a payment processing system in place.
  • You don’t mind paying a fee to PayPal for the sale.

For business owners who do a lot of sales on social media or through one-on-one contacts with customers, Meta Pay is a no-brainer. With no fees and enhanced security, it’s not surprising that so many business owners are embracing this payment method.

Jennifer Dublino contributed to this article.

author image
Donna Fuscaldo, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
Donna Fuscaldo, who has 25 years of experience navigating the convergence of business, finance, and technology, is a trusted advisor to small business owners. Her expertise in business borrowing, funding, and investment strategies equips her to provide reliable counsel on everything from business loans to accounting and retirement benefits. Her analysis has graced publications like The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, Bankrate, Investopedia, Motley Fool, Fox Business and AARP, solidifying her authority in the field. Beyond her contributions to the financial landscape, Fuscaldo also lends her wisdom on employment matters, with her expertise sought after by platforms like Glassdoor and others. Armed with a bachelor's degree in communication arts and journalism, Fuscaldo has the unique ability to simplify complex business and career-related topics into actionable insights. This makes her a valuable resource for professionals seeking practical solutions in today's dynamic business environment.
BDC Logo

Get Weekly 5-Minute Business Advice

B. newsletter is your digest of bite-sized news, thought & brand leadership, and entertainment. All in one email.

Back to top