Would you buy goods using your Facebook account? If you would then you might be pleased to hear that you may very well soon be able to do so. The world’s biggest social media site, Facebook, is trialling a system that would allow you to make online payments simply by using your Facebook login details.
In order for the system to work Facebook first needs to have your credit/debit card details stored on their system. If you have ever purchased Facebook credits or bought Facebook gifts then they probably already have these details. Once your details are stored you would then be in a position to use this new service. When you shop using a variety of apps you will find that one of the payment options is Facebook. You will then be asked to authorise your payment using your Facebook login details. Initially the trial is with one partner “JackThreads” a US based clothes shopping site that targets young men.
One advantage of this system if it is rolled out to all users is that you do not have to enter your card details directly into the page. This can be particularly frustrating on a smartphone with a combination of thick fingers and small keys being a recipe for disaster when trying to enter such crucial details as your card number and three digit security code. Having a button that you click will make making transactions easier. When selling any product there is a hot spot when a person will most likely purchase. The longer the time that has elapsed from this moment the less chance the person will make that purchase. If a user is looking on their mobile phone and sees an item they like then anything that can ease the transaction process is likely to lead to higher sales.
Many shopping sites already know that they convert fewer visitors from mobile devices than they do with those visitors on traditional desktops and laptops. However we all know that we are spending more and more time browsing the internet on mobile smartphones and tablets and this means that the companies who first get to grips with mcommerce are likely to reap some very rich rewards.
Facebook will also gain from the process by learning more about the things that we like by analysing the things that we buy and using that information to provide us with more relevant ads.
It is interesting that Facebook, a social media site that positively encourages its users to share as much information as possible is asking for those same users to trust it with their financial details.I envisage that initially there will be some resistance from most people to share such sensitive data but I think that long term it has the possibility to be a rival for PayPal.