|An example of a Bango-enabled Facebook purchase made easy|
Facebook has launched a new mobile web payment system based on Bango’s billing technology that could finally help the company realise significant revenues from its mobile based apps.
By using the Cambridge software house to replace the arduous SMS verification process that users of Facebook on mobile web browsers have to go through with a ‘two-step’ process, the social network hopes that more transactions will take place, which will in turn entice more developers to produce potentially money-making apps.
According to Facebook CTO, Brett Taylor, mobile web is the single most popular method of accessing Facebook on mobile devices, accounting for more traffic than Android and iOS combined.
As a result the company is fully behind HTML5 as a mobile web standard not just because it should enable an equal user experience across all mobile devices irrespective of the operating system, be it Android, iOS or Windows, but it makes life easier for developers to produce cross-platform apps and to bypass the 30 per cent levy on revenues taken by Apple and Google through their app stores.
Bango’s deal with Facebook was originally announced in February this year. As with today’s announcement, back then no details were provided on how much the partnership would actually be worth to Bango, however, in the intervening weeks Facebook’s own situation has changed drastically.
In May Facebook listed on the Nasdaq stock market at a price many felt was too high. It subsequently saw its share price plummet by over 30 per cent and as a result faces massive pressure to show it can convert its massive popularity into comparable revenues.
One potential area for major improvement is mobile which has always been a chink in the social network’s armour, but with HTML5 and Bango’s new low friction payment process there may now be a viable fix.
Even the most sophisticated web browser won’t produce a great mobile web system ecosystem without a viable business model for developers and that means payments, said Taylor at this year’s Mobile World Congress. Right now the payment experience on the Mobile Web is broken for end users.
With SMS verification, the user typically has to first tap on the item he or she wants to buy and then wait for the SMS to arrive so the user can confirm it is their device and account. The code sent in the SMS must then be entered into a box on the device before they can get back to the game.
Most customers don’t get this far, said Taylor adding that with the new system it is just one step for confirmation. We think this experience can be as good or even better than the native platforms and by having a great developer experience we’ll be unlocking the business potential for mobile web which will incentives the creation of the mobile web ecosystem we all want to exist.
Facebook says the new payment flow is simple and requires no typing. Users who want to pay for a virtual or digital good in a mobile web app open the payment dialogue and confirm their purchase.
Bango’s share price rose 4.01 per cent to 155.5p a share following the latest announcement.