While much of the U.S. uses credit cards to make online purchases, many other countries still don’t have easy services for making online transactions. Mobile transactions are clearly a step in that direction. The first company to test mobile payments with Facebook is Zong, as spotted by Erin McCune earlier yesterday. Facebook has also confirmed that they are currently working with developers to test a variety of payment integrations.
This is a big step for Zong who is currently one of the leading mobile payment providers (as well as a sponsor of this site). Interestingly enough, payments through mobile providers are currently twice as expensive due to the extremely high fees charged by mobile providers. For smaller transactions many mobile phone owners will be happy to make the transaction as an addition to their phone bill.
I can just see it now: millions of young adults using the phones that their parents paid for to purchase credits through Facebook. Actually, that is already happening but with tighter integration into Facebook’s Credits system, there’s a good chance that the volume of transactions will increase dramatically. One feature that I’m waiting to see is subscription payments but so far there are no examples of services on Facebook that provide subscription offerings.
Over the coming weeks and months expect to see an increased volume of experimentation with Facebook’s gift shop and credit system as the company slowly moves toward a public launch of their Credits system for developers.