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Facebook Faces Off With Google and Apple for the Payments Market

Facebook, Payments, Zuckerberg, The Financial Times

Zuckerberg wants Facebook to have a slice of that payments pie

Facebook’s been buying up a lot of tech lately, what with virtual reality company Oculus and instant messaging service WhatsApp, but what’s it really been playing at? Well, it seems that the social network want’s to find a way into your wallet too.

And that’s not just for in-app purchases or to pump credits into obsolete Facebook games. The Financial Times reports that Facebook has taken steps to get regulatory approval for a mobile payments system in the UK.

If this goes through, it puts the social company in competition with Google’s Wallet service and, quite possibly, up against any payments product that Apple may eventually unveil.

It’s unknown how, exactly, this system would work, but it’s more than likely that they’ll charge a commission on each transaction in a manner similar to PayPal. This would give the company a brand new revenue stream that means they’ll no longer need to rely upon intrusive advertising quite so much.

Another advantage is the plethora of personal information the company could end up acquiring. Suddenly they’ll know what stores you prefer to shop in, what purchases you’ve made recently, and even how much you tend to spend in a month – probably working out the optimum time to advertise products to you or even work out when you get paid. It’s a tantalising prospect for Facebook and its advertisers.

Facebook Home, Facebook’s failed mobile OS, could also be another avenue for a payments system to become ubiquitous. The company has always said it hasn’t given up on innovating and improving Facebook Home, so it stands to reason that a payments system would integrate rather nicely. It could become an invaluable and pioneering mobile wallet system.

For now, however, it’s all purely speculation and one very hush-hush Facebook.

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