Trust issues may hamper Facebook payments

by. Brian Scott

Numbers like 721 billion (the amount of money that will be spent via mobile devices) and 450 million (the number of mobile wallet users expected by 2017), attract a lot of attention.

Drawn to consumer loyalty and the potential of mobile payments to gather valuable marketing information about how people spend, telecom companies, Internet giants, retailers and financial institutions (FIs) are all working to establish a presence in the hearts and minds of consumers.

In a recent example, Facebook is preparing to enter the mobile-payments arena. You can see it in their most recent movements toward global remittance and electronic-money services. The social network is close to gaining approval from the Central Bank of Ireland to launch a service that would enable Facebook users to store and transfer money to other users.

According to a recent Financial Times article, “Facebook wants to become a utility in the developing world, and remittances are a gateway drug to financial inclusion.” Facebook as a utility is a really interesting concept, especially when you consider its investment in drones as a method for delivering high-speed Internet to off-the-beaten-path locales.

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