Facebook has announced a partnership with global wireless carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon in the U.S., intended to streamline purchases for online content by enabling consumers to pay with their Facebook account information. The partnership allows consumers to pay without pre-purchasing Facebook credits, with the costs appearing on their monthly wireless bill instead. On the merchants’ side, developers would do business with Facebook, and Facebook would serve as an intermediary between the developers and the MNOs.
The program has yet to be implemented, as a few of the final details have not yet been agreed upon.
The vision, though, is spelled out in a blog post by Facebook Director of Developer Relations Doug Purdy: to “minimize the number of steps needed to complete a transaction in mobile web apps, which will make it easier for hundreds of millions of people worldwide to purchase apps on their device via operator billing.” Besides the Big Three carriers in the U.S., announced partners include Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, Vodafone, KDDI, and Softbank Mobile.
Facebook currently plans on using this payment system similarly to how Facebook Credits are currently being used: purchasing virtual goods in social games using Facebook’s platform. Overall, this program is part of Facebook’s larger goal to reduce the difficulties of mobile app development.
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