Today, Facebook announced Libra which is their new cryptocurrency platform which will be governed by the Libra Association. However, they also announced an interesting fintech product which they call Calibra.
So what is Calibra? Well it is a new digital wallet that you’ll be able to use to save, send and spend Libra.
Calibra will let you send Libra to almost anyone with a smartphone easily. Facebook also predicts in time you’ll be able to pay for services like paying bills, buying a cup of coffee or riding your local public transit without carrying cash.
Facebook is also touting that Calibra will be secure. They say they won’t share account information or financial data with Facebook or any third party without consent (unless in limited cases). They also promise verification and anti-fraud processes that banks use and automatic systems that detect and prevent fraudulent behaviour.
Facebook promises if someone fraudulently gains access to your account and you lose some Libra as a result, they’ll offer you a refund. That’s pretty neat.
The company pitched this idea as a way that using mobile money can have a positive impact on people’s lives. This is especially true for people who do not have access to traditional banking systems. Apparently a billion people have a phone but do not have a bank account and Facebook seems to be targeting this demographic.
Calibra will be available in WhatsApp and Messenger and as a standalone app next year. WhatsApp and Messenger have over 1.5 billion users each and it gives Facebook an enormous user base to work with.