Facebook Rolls Out ‘Autofill’ Test with PayPal, Braintree and Stripe (Sept. 24, 2013)
Sept. 24, 2013
Will Facebook opt to become an e-commerce payments hub, rather than dive directly into payments? It’s beginning to look that way for now, as Facebook this week rolls out a new “Autofill with Facebook” payments feature for mobile apps, taking care not to step on the toes of merchants’ existing payment processors. Facebook last night began testing its feature giving consumers the option of using payment information already stored with Facebook to save steps and time by automatically populating payment forms when making a purchase in a mobile app, the social media giant confirms. Facebook is testing Autofill with Facebook with two iOS apps, JackThreads and Mosaic, but the test doesn’t involve moving payment processing away from an app’s current provider, a Facebook spokesperson tells Paybefore. “We currently have plans to work with Braintree, Stripe and PayPal on the test,” she says, adding that JackThreads, a men’s apparel site, and photo-publishing site Mosaic already work with Braintree. PayPal coincidentally is rumored to be nearing a deal to purchase Braintree.
Facebook’s approach to streamlining payments is a positive step, according to James Wester, research director for IDC Financial Insights. “It’s a simple, smart thing for Facebook to do and seems to make sense for everyone involved,” Wester tells Paybefore. “The processors get the transactions, Facebook closes the loop that ties advertising to actual purchases and developers get more conversions.” The only concern Wester has with the concept—and it is a big one—is the question of privacy. “The perception of insecurity and lack of privacy with Facebook may be a difficult hurdle for many consumers to overcome when it comes to payment data, regardless of whether those concerns are valid or not.”