Facebook has entered the race to make paying with a credit card easier by competing with Paypal. The new software, Facebook Mobile Payments, auto-fills information in applications and online websites using Facebook login as the identifier.
Participating eCommerce applications, particularly mobile ones, will enable consumers to purchase using just their Facebook login. Credit card numbers or PayPal details would be stored by Facebook Mobile Payments and only used for those sites that the user authorises. If a user has previously used Facebook to buy games or gifts, those details are preloaded ready to be used. This information would be then be pre-loaded into third party websites for one-step shopping and buying. The actual data transaction would be handled by the third party website, not by Facebook.
Testing for the product will begin shortly. The product would directly compete with PayPal if launched as a secure and easy way to pay online. Google and Amazon have similar products but none with the reach of Facebook.
Would You Use It?
Many users are already familiar with using their Facebook login for third party websites so it’s not much of stretch to assume it could be done with credit cards as well. However, will users trust Facebook mobile payments with their purchase information? Already Facebook has indicated it may use the data gathered on users shopping habits to create a lucrative stash of information.
Despite privacy concerns users will enjoy using the Facebook mobile payment product because it’s a more convenient way to pay for goods without having to run and grab the credit card.
While Facebook currently earns most of their revenue from PPC campaign style advertising its not hard to believe that it will seise the opportunity to draw shoppers and the actual sale inside their system as well. It’s possible that Facebook will want shoppers to buy through their website as they do with Zinga games. It really does remain to be seen whether consumers would trust Facebook with their private financial information.