In a move that probably won’t surprise many people, Facebook has announced that the social media giant is partnering with PayPal, Stripe, and BrainTree to create an automatic information-filling checkout button for mobile apps.
Once implemented, shopping on your mobile device will be even easier than before: your public information (short of your credit card, obviously) available on your Facebook profile can be copied and pasted right into a checkout service. Thus, online purchases are made nearly effortless and Facebook tracks your mobile shopping habits. Everybody wins, unless you misspell your own name or use an alias.
Tech Crunch writer Josh Constine knows where this is going. “Perhaps Facebook is looking to work as an identity and data layer on top of other payment processors forever…Facebook knows who you are, how much you spent, and in what app. That’s critical to it proving the return on investment of its app install ads.”
We will see, in time, if the cynicism is valid. Facebook could be providing the perfect one-button solution for the problems with mobile shopping, or it could be using its popularity to gather purchase information as valuable research data for its own commerce program.