In what AllThingsD calls a potential PayPal competitor, the site reported that Facebook is testing a mobile payment platform that would allow users to make purchases on mobile apps, using Facebook as their login mechanism.
If you’ve already provided Facebook with your credit card information, such as through a Facebook Gifts purchase or games payment, that would be stored and used during a purchase on a separate mobile app. Facebook confirmed the test to AllThingsD, noting that it should arrive in the next month or so.
Doing this would allow for a seamless purchase experience, where the user does not have to enter credit card information. As Facebook is the dominant social login utility, this would definitely be a competitor for PayPal on mobile. For many apps, when you make a purchase for the first time, the customer has to take out their credit card and enter in the numbers — adding complication and a potential roadblock.
According to AllThingsD, JackThreads (a shopping site aimed at young men) is the pilot partner for this mobile payment platform. The site points out that JackThreads already has a great relationship with Facebook and sees a significant portion of revenue coming from mobile.
In a statement provided to AllThingsD, Facebook said that this test is simply aimed at making it easier for app partners to facilitate conversions:
We continue to have a great relationship with PayPal, and this product is simply to test how we can help our app partners provide a simpler commerce experience. This test does not involve moving the payment processing away from an app’s current provider.
Readers: How do you feel about using Facebook as the login mechanism for mobile payments?