Watch out, PayPal: Facebook is about to muscle in on your business. AllThingsD is reporting that the hundred-billion-dollar social networking company is developing its own mobile payment service that allows you to pay for just about anything online using your Facebook login credentials.
The specifics behind the plan are still being worked out for next month’s test launch. But the general idea is that Facebook already has an estimated 10 million credit card numbers on file from FarmVille players and purchasers of Facebook gifts. Ultimately, the goal is to make buying things on your phone as frictionless as possible.
Since going public last year, Facebook has been scouring its business model for new ways to make money and keep investors happy. That’s the reason behind Facebook’s recent push to bring advertisements to mobile devices, and of course, the reason for entering the mobile payments business. According to Bloomberg, PayPal made $1.55 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2013.
Personally, I’ve never given Facebook my credit card information. I’ve had my PayPal account hacked before, and while no money was actually taken, trying to convince my bank to scrub the associated fees was a customer service nightmare. Given the frequency with which Facebook accounts are hacked, the idea of one-click purchasing via the social network terrifies me.
If ever there was a time to turn on Facebook’s two-step authentication protection, it’s now before the new payment system goes live. You should also look into protecting your phone against viruses if you haven’t already. Once the bad guys are able to get money by hacking your Facebook account, they’re going to be trying a lot harder to get access to it.