Facebook has announced plans to launch a new, experimental program that will enable Facebook users to store credit card information on the site. When users purchase products on the social network’s partners’ mobile apps, Facebook will fill in the relevant billing data to that app.
Facebook has described the program as “a very small test” that only initially involves one or two of its partner merchants. According to CNNMoney, Tech Blog broke the news.
The social network insists that it is limited in focus right now and will only be providing one-click checkout access for its members and partner affiliates. According to Facebook, the social networker will not be expanding out into payment processing like Google Checkout or PayPal, which is a part of eBay, CNNMoney reports.
“It’s a very competitive space,” said Ken Sena, an analyst of Evercore Partners. “I think there is the potential to get excited about it too early, but we’re still very much in the experimental phase.”
Entering the world of mobile payments is a popular move into what many consider to be an enigmatic area, but the move is something consumers want in today’s technologically dense world in which entering one’s data is crucial to moving forward in any arena, such as when accessing a shopping site. Consumers simply don’t like typing all of their billing information on their small telephone screens, but a safe and efficacious way of doing this has not been readily available, CNNMoney notes.
Among those who have entered the arena are PayPal, Amazon, Google, and Square; yet, even the most popular players have failed to attract meaningful consumer interest.
Google launched its Wallet service in 2011, but has not enjoyed large growth. Amazon Payments is similar to the Facebook concept and has gained popularity in the small business sector. Kickstarter, a crowdfunding site is not targeting consumers or mobile payments. Although Square has seen success and is looking at an array of offerings, including processing payments and introducing special cash registers, Square has not yet enjoyed wide response.
In short, despite best efforts, the so-called “mobile payments revolution” has been a lot calmer than expected with much of online retail passing through Amazon with PayPal picking up the online retail transactions that do not go through the retail giant, notes CNNMoney.
Although Facebook is entering cautiously and on a limited basis, Facebook has an enormous, 1-billion member base and already has a lot of user data on each of these members. Facebook has not announced any future expansion plans; however, the implications could be massive should it choose to move in that direction, predicts CNNMoney.
Pepitone, Julianne. “Facebook Testing One-Click Checkout for Mobile Shopping“; CNNMoney.com; August 15, 2013.