As Facebook and other social networks move into various ecommerce activities, payments will take a larger role. There are rumors that Facebook may be developing its own payment capabilities, but that seems outside its core business, so I'm skeptical.
There are several payment companies already vying for attention at Facebook:
- PayPal launched a Facebook app in July; it allows users to collect funds from friends or to raise money for a cause (previous coverage here).
- PayMe is a service that uses the PayPal engine for person-to-person payments (previous coverage here).
- Chip-In also uses the PayPal engine to gather group donations for a specific goal (previous coverage here ).
The latest on Facebook is Revolution Money, the credit card alternative backed by AOL founder Steve Case. In December, the company launched a Facebook application to support its person-to-person service, MoneyExchange, which is aimed squarely at PayPal's lucrative franchise (screenshot below). Users that sign up on Facebook receive a $25 bonus (through Feb. 29), an offer that is not available on the main MoneyExchange website.
So far, the Facebook is light with only 16 daily users listed today. But as social network users find out how easy it is to settle their debts with friends through the network, we expect a significant volume of funds flowing through the social networks.
For more information, read our Social Personal Finance report (Online Banking Report #142/143).
Revolution Money's MoneyExchange App on Facebook