New York -- Undeterred by its most disappointing IPO, social media humongous Facebook is aggressively intensifying its efforts to monetize its platform for advertisers, developers, and other commercially-minded users. In the wake of recent announcement at the Mobile World Congress this year, Facebook is now officially unveiling a new, 2-step mobile payment flow that considerably reduces the number of steps necessary to complete a purchase from seven to two, allowing developers to include in their Facebook apps via Facebook's Payments API.
The social giant's payments system, called Credits, has been seamlessly functioning with apps that run on its platform for several years. But now, the social outfit is rolling out an enhanced mobile payments flow for mobile web apps. Via its blog, Facebook explained that its new “low friction” two-step carrier billing is now available in major carriers in the U.S. and U.K.
Facebook's new two-step mobile payments system. (Credit: Facebook)
In fact, this two-step payment flow, as you can visualize from above picture, will only require users to open the payment dialog to confirm the payment for any services or digital goods.
The social networking giant further explained: The “low-friction carrier billing” is available to the majority of wireless carriers in the U.S. and U.K. as well as select carriers in more than 60 countries around the globe, Facebook said today in a developer blog announcing the new system.
“The payment flow is simple,” Jessi Xu, a Facebook software engineer, stated in the post. “Users who want to pay for a virtual or digital good in a mobile web app open the payment dialog and confirm their purchase.”
While U.S. carriers AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile are already on board with the system, however, there is no word about one of the notable names not on the list is Verizon's, which would be quite important for US users. The company also noted that it will unwind the solution to more operators around the globe.
This latest update comes as a major reinforcement to the social media giant's original, carrier-powered payment process, which took 7 steps and required information to be typed in manually.
With this update, it is now much easier than ever for users to pay for services, games, upgrades, etc. made by Facebook app developers, as all purchases are simply tacked to your existing phone bill. This direction comes in stark contrast to Apple's “we handle and own everything” technique, making the two seem at odds with each other once again. Clearly, Facebook does not envision mobile providers as just “dumb pipes.”
Explaining further, the company executive noted, “The payments experience is just broken for end users,” Facebook CTO Bret Taylor said at the World Mobile Conference, adding that the social networking giant was working on “partnerships with operators to improve the user and developer experience around operator billing that will eliminate the SMS verification for vast majority of customers.”
Finally, developers who have already incorporated Facebook Payments into their mobile Web, would need not to do anything to upgrade to the new system. For further information on how to integrate the new system, check out Facebook's two-step mobile payments for developers here.