Facebook launches Pay tool to compete with Venmo, CashApp amid Libra criticism

The service will let users send and receive money across its apps.

Facebook really wants to get in on your finances.

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The social media giant on Tuesday announced Facebook Pay, a new tool that will let users send and receive money across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Shoppers can use the feature to buy tickets, donate to charity, make in-game purchases, pay friends and shop in Marketplace, Facebook said in a statement.

The new tool is built on already-existing financial infrastructure and will support PayPal as well as most major credit and debit cards. Users can view payment history, manage payment methods and get real-time support.

Facebook Pay will begin rolling out in the United States this week on Facebook and Messenger and become available on Instagram and WhatsApp soon after.

The move comes as Facebook is embroiled in criticism about another money project, Calibra, a wallet app to support its Libra cryptocurrency, set to launch in 2020. Lawmakers said the digital currency could undermine the U.S. dollar, be used for illicit activity and give the tech giant unfair competitive advantages in collecting data on financial transactions.

PayPal and other brands pulled support from that project last month.

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Facebook's pay tool also comes at a time when users are wary about privacy. THe company remains in the hot seat from the public after multiple privacy breaches.

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But the company said that it is continuing to invest in security: "We designed Facebook Pay to securely store and encrypt your card and bank account numbers, perform anti-fraud monitoring to detect unauthorized activity and provide notifications for account activity.

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"You can also add a PIN or use your device biometrics, such as touch or face ID recognition, for an extra layer of security when sending money or making a payment. Facebook does not receive or store your device's biometric information."

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Facebook's stock is up more than 36 percent on the year and 48 percent year-to-date.

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