- Facebook is testing a new payments system for mobile users that would store their credit card information on Facebook and then us that log-in to make mobile purchases.
- The payments system would enable users to make mobile purchases without revealing their credit card numbers to m-commerce vendors; this could be a convenience, but many users may not trust Facebook with their information.
- Some in the industry worry that a Facebook payments system would put PayPal out of business; that may not be as likely as it seems, as neither Google Checkout or Google Wallet have seen much success.
EDITOR'S NOTE: TechCrunch has since reported that Facebook's payments test isn't meant to compete with PayPal. The test actually allows users to auto-fill their billing information when making a purchase through a third-party mobile app, using data already on file for Facebookers who have previously bought Facebook Gifts or in-game content.
From the article:
"Regardless of how many credit cards Facebook has on file it’s nothing like Amazon, Apple or Google’s credit card databases. Apple in particular is a sleeping giant in mobile payments.
Despite the various hurdles I’ve identified there are many reasons for Facebook to move forward. Think of the data and consumer insights the company would potentially gain — though there’s also a potential privacy PR landmine for Facebook to step on."