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Facebook is testing a Paypal competitor for mobile payments

Set to be announced within 'a month or so'
Fri Aug 16 2013, 12:43
Facebook on a Blackberry Q10

SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook is testing its own payments system to offer a better checkout experience on mobile, the firm reportedly confirmed to Allthingsd.

While Facebook confirmed its plans, it didn't spill many details about its upcoming payments system. However, according to Allthingsd the service will allow mobile shoppers to make purchases on their phones using their Facebook login details rather than competing service Paypal.

Paypal doesn't seem bothered that Facebook is looking to take it on in the mobile payments market and said it welcomes the competition.

A Paypal spokesperson said in a statement, "We have a great relationship with Facebook and expect that to continue. Our customers love using Paypal on Facebook."

Paypal continued, "We've been investing in mobile payments since 2006, and last year 10 percent of our total payment volume - $14 billion - was from mobile devices. However, we always welcome competition and look forward to seeing what Facebook will announce."

To use Facebook's upcoming online payments service shoppers will have to hand over their credit card details to Facebook. Given the recent PRISM revelations however, it's possible that users will be reluctant to hand over their personal details to the social network.

Forrester Research retail analyst Sucharita Mulpuru seemed to agree, and told Allthingsd that the lack of trust users have for Facebook could ultimately hinder the firm's mobile payments plans.

He said, "Nobody trusts social networks with their financial information, and they are certainly not going to trust Facebook. Maybe they have a few million people that have bought something on things like FarmVille, but that does not a network make."

However, if it is a success a mobile payments system could give Facebook a much needed insight into shoppers' mobile shopping habits, which could see the social network boosting its mobile experience further with better targeted advertising.

Jackthreads, a flash sale shopping website for men, is presently testing the Facebook payments system, and it's expected to filter through to more partners over the coming weeks. µ


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