Zuckerberg’s at it again, first with the announcement of their own Cryptocurrency ‘Libra’, and now an in-app payment processing system allowing users to:
- Purchase products
- Send money to friends
- Donate to fundraisers
All from the comfort of their cosy Facebook App.
Facebook has been teasing the launch of ‘Facebook Pay’ for well over a year now.
After testing the payment system earlier this year, it finally started to roll out across the US this week.
It’s an obvious move for Facebook after the success of WeChat’s mobile payments system in China – which is often used in physical stores as well as online – making WeChat one of the most dominant technology companies in the country.
Whilst the feature is yet to be available in the UK or Europe, we are getting set to work with our international clients on it and have been thinking about how the new development will change both our strategy and the way we as consumers shop online.
Let’s jump straight in and answer a few questions that immediately spring to mind…
Do users trust Facebook enough to enter their payment details?
As we’re all aware, Facebook have struggled in recent times with users trusting their platform with their personal details.
In a poll taken earlier this year, it was found that 60% of Americans don’t trust Facebook with their personal information.
So will people be rushing to upload their payment details?
One thing we have concluded as an agency, is that this won’t be a quickly adopted ‘norm’.
It will take time, but particularly as Facebook roll the feature out to Whatsapp and Instagram, it’s inevitable that it’ll be widely used.
Trust is found in numbers, so whilst it’ll be a slow start, as soon as the ball starts rolling, it will likely keep on rolling.
Will this make a difference to how we buy & sell online?
It will make buying & selling products within Facebook much much easier.
Accepting money in-platform massively reduces the friction from customer to business, as they don’t need to click off to another site to make a purchase.
Imagine scrolling through your Instagram feed late at night, and coming across a dress you love.
You won’t be directed to a website, nor will you have to enter your billing/payment/personal information… with two clicks of a button it’ll be on your doorstep within a few days (sorry, bank account).
Does this mean websites are no more?
No – at least not for now.
As more social platforms emerge, whether short-term or long-term in popularity, we as marketers must be active where the eyeballs are.
With attention still on platforms that don’t offer native payments, websites will still very much be key.
Whilst Facebook Group owns the two biggest social platforms and messaging platform, there are still a plethora of other platforms that are becoming increasingly popular (TikTok, Snapchat, Twitch etc.).
Websites also offer businesses the means to show their brand off in a way that’s completely unique to them, if Facebook doesn’t offer customisation, businesses may feel they lose their ‘identity’ without their own designed online storefront.
What about the future?
We can predict that Facebook will continue to develop the ‘Shop’ section of each Facebook page to become even more like a fully fledged eCommerce store, so businesses will drive internal and external traffic to their Facebook page/shop/site, instead of driving people to an external domain.
Whatever your stance on Facebook Pay, it’s undeniably an interesting change within the digital sphere with a huge range of possibilities. We’re excited to see how it will unfold and how it’ll affect the industry.
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