Facebook rolls out Autofill in-app mobile payments feature
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is launching a new payments tool enabling consumers to make purchases within mobile applications using their Facebook login information.
Autofill with Facebook enables any shopper who has previously provided the social networking giant with credit card account information to complete purchases across partnering mobile apps without re-entering their billing data. Apps integrate the Autofill feature into their billing mechanism, generating a drop-down "Check Out Faster with Facebook" prompt and "Autofill Your Info" button in lieu of a traditional checkout screen. Tapping the button shuttles the user to their Facebook for iOS app, where they can view their payment details and select a shipping address. After the consumer agrees to finalize the transaction, Facebook securely transmits the account data to the developer's payment processor.
Facebook kicked off the Autofill pilot last month in tandem with Thrillist-owned JackThreads, a flash sale site targeting the young male demographic. Photo book creator app Mosaic is also signing on for the official commercial rollout. In addition, Facebook is teaming with payment processing partners Braintree and Stripe; TechCrunch reports that PayPal has also committed to Autofill with Facebook support but has not yet completed the integration process.
Facebook stressed that Autofill is designed to complement existing mobile payment services, not compete with them. "We're all trying to solve the same problem: Helping devs monetize and convert," Facebook Payments Product Manager Deb Liu told TechCrunch. "The more conversions, the more payment volume that goes through Braintree, Stripe or PayPal [and they make their fee that way]."
Liu added that Facebook is currently focusing on improving purchase conversions across the mobile ecosystem, but added "We don't rule out doing this on desktop someday."
As of the second quarter of 2013, Facebook boasts 819 million mobile active users in all, increasing 51 percent year-over-year; mobile daily active users now exceed 469 million. "Nearly half a billion people use Facebook on their phones every day and soon we'll have more revenue on mobile than on desktop," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during the company's second-quarter earnings conference call in July.
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