Facebook is known for managing a billion-dollar ad business. In an effort to improve its mobile advertising platform and online shopping experience, Facebook now wants to store your credit card information. In its initial steps, Facebook only offers the new "Autofill with Facebook" feature through apps, rather than completing the checkout process. A consumer's credit card must already be on file with the new app in order to actually view it. With company goals to further develop mobile advertising, this upcoming feature appears promising.
As digital trends continue to migrate towards an online economy, with companies like PayPal operating in a similar fashion, this shouldn't be much of a surprise. However, one issue that consumers are concerned about is how the credit card information will be handled by a social media company like Facebook. Given the company's reputation for sharing user data with businesses and third-party applications, it's difficult to trust their ostensibly commercial efforts. Consumers trust Facebook with their life story via photos, status updates, and interests, but there should be a limit to how much we rely on a platform like Facebook, especially when it comes to personal finances.
Facebook is not embarking on this new venture alone. PayPal, Stripe, BrainTree, and two e-commerce companies have partnered up with Facebook in creating a more effortless online shopping experience. Facebook is aware that their users are worried about fraudulent behavior and hacking mishaps, and although it has had problems in the past, the company possesses a relatively solid track record for data security, as TechCrunch reports. For now, Facebook is working on how to leverage mobile advertising within the e-commerce arena, which will require the exchange of user data.
So far, the booming social media company has not divulged specific details on the management of credit card information for commercial purposes.
Facebook payments product manager Deb Liu explains, "We're all trying to solve the same problem: helping devs monetize and convert. The more conversions, the more payment volume that goes through Braintree, Stripe, or PayPal [and they make their fee that way]."
Users are already utilizing Facebook and other online platforms to make purchases. The main question is whether a social media company known for sharing profile data can be trusted to handle credit card details. It's a matter of data security and privacy, and as much as Facebook can reassure the consumer in their new digital venture, it's up to the individual to make an informed decision on who can govern their monetary data.