Facebook’s Calibra digital wallet is now Novi and will come as a stand-alone app, as well as offering integration with Messenger and WhatsApp
Facebook has announced that Calibra, the wallet for storing Libra, is being renamed to Novi. The social media giant said that the digital wallet will be used to allow people to access and store Libra.
In a blog post announcing the rebranding, Head of Novi, David Marcus — who also headed Calibra — said that the company got the inspiration for Novi from the Latin words “novus” and “via” translated to mean “new” and “way” respectively.
According to the company, Novi will be a standalone digital wallet developed under a new subsidiary called Novi Financial, which will work independently of Facebook.
“The first product Novi Financial will introduce is the Novi digital wallet designed for Libra, a new payment system which is built on innovative blockchain technology,” Marcus explained.
He added that since the goal is to make sending money “as easy as sending a message,” Novi will also integrate with popular apps Messenger and WhatsApp (both owned by Facebook).
It is not just a Calibra renaming that Facebook announced. The firm has also redesigned the logo, ditching the old style that had become a bit controversial given its similarities to that of another company.
The new design is a simple “novi” that maintains the Libra icon in what Marcus said was to underscore Facebook’s “commitment to the Libra network.”
Novi wallet will come with key features developed to enable instant and secure crossborder money transfers. Besides, users will benefit from a service that has “no hidden fees,” the firm revealed in the announcement.
Bumpy road for Libra
Facebook announced Libra in 2019, but the company and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, have faced growing regulatory scrutiny; including Congressional Hearings in the US. It is likely to be a bumpy road before the world looks like it will send and spend money via Libra on the massive scale Facebook is likely aiming for.
The Libra Association, which Facebook formed to govern the launch of the digital currency, also saw many of its 28 founding members exit amid regulatory concerns. However, despite the likes of Visa and PayPal leaving the Switzerland-based organisation, new members have joined to bring the number to 27 after three more companies joined earlier this month.
The Libra payment system is set to support several digital currencies that are pegged to fiat currencies, including the US dollar, pound sterling and the euro.
Facebook has not announced when it plans to launch the Novi wallet for Libra. However, the Novi Financial will introduce an early version of the wallet once the Libra network becomes available.
The wallet will be introduced in select countries after the subsidiary gets approval and acquires the necessary licenses.