Facebook introduces Novi, the renamed digital wallet for Libra

26 May 2020

Image: © Andrei/Stock.adobe.com

Facebook has renamed Calibra, the digital wallet that is being developed for Libra digital currencies.

Today (26 May), Facebook announced that it has rebranded the digital wallet it is developing to support Libra digital currencies from Calibra to Novi.

Facebook said that while it has changed the name, it hasn’t changed its “long-term commitment to helping people around the world access affordable financial services”.

Facebook said that the Novi wallet will support users as they send and receive money to friends, family and other users. The news comes a week after Facebook announced plans to ramp up its e-commerce offering with the launch of Facebook Shops.

The Novi digital wallet

In a statement, Facebook said that the Novi name was inspired by the Latin words novus for ‘new’ and via for ‘way’. It added that Novi’s visual identity and design represents “the fluid movement of digital currencies”, with a nod to the Libra icon in the brand logo in an effort to “underscore our commitment to the Libra network”.

Laura Morgan Walsh, head of operations at Novi, said: “We are striving to make money move more freely around the world and to help people access affordable financial services. Right here in Dublin, we’re growing our team that will support core parts of the Novi wallet, including customer care.

“We’re more committed than ever to ensuring people can get help whenever they need it from our customer care team.”

Last month, Morgan Walsh said Facebook’s Calibra team plans to create 50 new jobs in Ireland by the end of the year.

The Novi logo on a purple background.

The Novi logo. Image: Facebook

The company revealed new details about Novi, saying that “sending money will be as easy as sending a message”. Novi will be able to be used as a stand-alone app, as well as in Messenger and WhatsApp.

“There will be no hidden charges to add, send, receive or withdraw money and your transfers will arrive instantly,” Facebook added. “All Novi customers will be verified using government-issued ID, and fraud protections will be built in throughout the app.”

The company said it hopes to introduce an early version of Novi when the Libra network is available to users, with a roll-out in an initial set of countries, which the company did not disclose.

Facebook said that users interested in trying out Novi can sign up here to receive updates and alerts relating to when the digital wallet will be released in their region.

Updated, 6.30pm, 26 May 2020: This article was updated to clarify that Facebook has rebranded Calibra as Novi.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic