Facebook Meets Google Checkout
Back in May, it was reported that Facebook was going to begin testing a payments system. This inevitably led to discussion about how Facebook might be preparing to take on products like PayPal and Google Checkout.
Now, some more interesting news has surfaced. Facebook has hired a new Director of Product Management for Facebook payments – Prashant Fuloria. Guess where he comes from. He spent six years at Google, where he was a Director of Product Management and worked on Google Checkout.
"Fuloria has his work cut out for him as he oversees the development, testing, and wider launch of Facebook payments services over the next several months," says Inside Facebook’s Justin Smith. "While Facebook only accepts credit card payments today, it is likely to expand its payments tests in the future, as the company seeks to monetize users across geographies and demographic profiles."
"Managing the integration of payments methods and systems into the Facebook experience is an increasingly important challenge for the company as it seeks to create a new, substantial direct-to-consumer revenue stream in a market that is known for its high operational costs, major fraud challenges, and international complexity," he adds.
As you may be aware, Facebook has already been offering virtual currency within its network. It is even expanded upon the number of currencies that it deals with. Facebook taking a payments platform outside of its own network and onto the entire web could be huge.
Think about how Facebook is already integrated into so many web properties, whether it be through Facebook Connect or Pages or just sharing capabilities. Everybody already has a Facebook profile (many, many people do anyway). They’re going to start out with some level of trust.
The concept has a lot of potential as a big moneymaker for Facebook, and as a convenient way for consumers to make online payments. You have to wonder if purchases made would have any effect on ads Facebook shows you. We might be heading for some very interesting developments in Facebook monetization.