Facebook announced the launch of its Novi digital wallet, which will allow users to make and receive free instant international payments.
After two years of testing, Facebook is launching its Novi cryptocurrency wallet, beginning with a small pilot in the United States and Guatemala, where a limited number of users will be able to send and receive money instantly, without fees.
Facebook has been testing Novi, previously known as Calibra, since it began working on its Libra blockchain-based payment system in 2019. Last week, Facebook started rolling out the feature in a limited global capacity – in collaboration with Coinbase.
Coinbase will support Novi with its Coinbase Custody to keep funds secure via its crypto transactions management software.
Facebook’s payments chief, David Marcus, explained that the pilot rollout of the new digital wallet app is meant to “test core feature functions, and our operational capabilities in customer care and compliance.”
Remittances are a critical way to achieve financial inclusion. Today, we’re rolling out a small pilot of the @Novi digital wallet app in two countries — the US and Guatemala. People can send and receive money instantly, securely, and with no fees. 1/8
— David Marcus (@davidmarcus) October 19, 2021
To pilot the technology, Novi will be operating with the Pax Dollar (USDP) stablecoin, as Facebook’s proposed own cryptocurrency Diem (previously called Libra) still awaits government approval.
The company selected the USDP stablecoin to test the system with one that has been operating successfully for more than three consecutive years, as well as for its “important regulatory and consumer protection attributes” – not to mention the fact that its reserves are fully backed by the US dollar, in cash, or cash equivalents.
“I do want to be clear that our support for Diem hasn’t changed, and we intend to launch Novi with Diem once it receives regulatory approval and goes live,” Marcus added.
The wallet will offer free person-to-person payments and profit from merchant payments for the time being.
Featured image: Facebook / Novi Financial