Buying things from your smartphone has gotten progressively easier over the years: companies such as Amazon, PayPal, and even Google have launched mobile payment platforms that alleviate the need to enter your payment information on a mobile device. Now, according to a report from All Things D, Facebook is working on a very similar type of system.
Facebook's mobile payments solution, which is apparently in a limited test right now, lets shoppers make purchases with the credit card information stored in their Facebook accounts, assuming that they have given it to Facebook already. Facebook sells Gifts and in-game purchases on its main desktop site, which require customers to have credit card information on file. The one-click mobile purchase system uses this saved information so shoppers don't have to enter details such as billing addresses, expiration dates, and security codes on their devices. The first retail partner for Facebook's pilot test is JackThreads, a flash-sales site geared towards young men.
It's not clear if Facebook will expand the mobile payment program beyond its pilot test, or when it will do so if it does. It's easy to see the uphill battles it may have with the program: consumers are generally wary of providing social networks with even more information than they already do, and the privacy concerns surrounding credit card information are real and can be disconcerting. But if Facebook is able to convince consumers otherwise, it could become a big thorn in PayPal's side in the very near future.
Update: Facebook has confirmed to ABC News that the mobile payments program is being tested. "We are working on a very small test that lets people populate their payment information already on file with Facebook into the checkout form of a mobile phone app when they are making a purchase," said a spokesperson. "The app then uses their existing payments processor to complete the transaction. The test makes it easier and faster for people to make a purchase in a mobile app by simply pre-populating your payment information."