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Facebook Businesses The Almighty Buck

Paying Through Facebook May Become a Reality 122

SmartAboutThings writes "A recent story at the NY Times talks about a possible partnership between Facebook and mobile billing company Bango. 'You might want to buy a game or concert tickets or an astrological forecast. Careful where your fingers go. One tap, and a charge will show up on your phone bill. "Frictionless" payment is how Bango puts it. Bango will get a cut of each click; it declined to say how much.' Assuming this doesn't remain a rumor, then quite soon we might be able to pay for goods using our Facebook accounts. Could this help Facebook regain the lost trust for their investors?"
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Paying Through Facebook May Become a Reality

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  • First? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cutting_Crew ( 708624 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:37AM (#41108403)
    note to self - never ever ever download the facebook app for my phone.
    • Re:First? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Mitreya ( 579078 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [ayertim]> on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:54AM (#41108667)

      note to self - never ever ever download the facebook app for my phone.

      Anyone who hasn't learned that lesson after the FB app had helpfully "updated" all of their contacts wiping out original emails... will not learn it now.

      • Re:First? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ciderbrew ( 1860166 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @10:25AM (#41109117)
        Learned that the hard way. Not even twitter makes it to my phone. Only use crap web sites versions for most things now.
        So many things want to know your location, contacts, ect.. When they don't need to. Sad time for computing.
        • by nitio ( 825314 )

          Android is awesome that you can block permissions on CyanogenMod on a very detailed level. (not sure about stock and AOSP since I moved away from Android).

          On iOS I jailbreak and run Protect my Privacy. Not as good as the CM one as it simply alerts me whenever an app request location/UID/contacts/music and asks me what I want to do (it even has some weird cloud DB where it suggests you a policy). Works pretty well though.

          I find it amazing that a lot of games and others stupid apps ask for my UID. One other

      • by tek0 ( 1049454 )
        but if he hadn't used it until now, he couldn't have learnt that lesson!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      note to self - never ever ever download the facebook app for my phone.

      Well on the bright side, these services will profile you and your friends so well, an app could go ahead and make purchases for you as you sleep. Have faith that technology can know what you want before you know that you want it. You purchases can have the added surprise thrill one might get from birthday or holiday gifts, except for the shrinking bank balance part. And don't worry if you don't have enough cash, the app can automatically get credit for you and show the world what a great person you are b

  • by wcrowe ( 94389 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:38AM (#41108421)

    Great. Then FB will broadcast to all your friends what it is you just bought. Glad I left over a year ago.

    • So get your porn the way the rest of us do: bittorrent.
    • Oh, don't you worry your pretty little consumer head about that...

      If you are purchasing a luxury item that will provide status and prestige, you can take advantage of 'facebook sponsored purchases' in order to insert news of your purchase more prominently into your friend's facebook pages for just a small additional fee.

      If you are buying an embarrassing sex toy, our Founder's Favorite 'They "trust me"; Dumb fucks.', option will keep your little secret just between you and Zuck, 100% guaranteed*!

      • And meanwhile, Facebook's marketing/datamining/advertising department just had a massive orgasm at the though of the new possibilities.

        Then, all the writers-of-crappy-apps/scammers/clickjacker/hacker/exploiters started a big circle jerk while thinking of *their* expanded possibilities.

        After which all the lawyers (with specialities as diverse as divorce, etc.) all quickly ran buying more lube (and bigger strap-ons) just to be ready.

        And I see scareware/let-me-help-you-scrub-your-profile/heal-your-online-reput

      • by wcrowe ( 94389 )

        The sex toy thing is kind of obvious, but embarrassment is not the only problem. What if you are buying a gift for a friend or relative and you don't want to spoil the surprise? There are many perfectly innocent reasons why a person would want to keep their purchases secret.

    • Glad I left over a year ago.

      Better keep an eye on your phone bill, just in case. Just because you're not using your old account doesn't mean that nobody won't.

  • Huzza! (Score:5, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:39AM (#41108445) Journal

    I confidently predict that a blissful union of the non-sleaziness of mobile billing, the upstanding nature of Facebook, and the excellent security of consumer client devices will lead to excellent customer satisfaction and only the most minimal of fraud and billing disputes.

  • They should gain the trust of their users first if they really want to see things like this pick up steam IMO
    • by Minwee ( 522556 )

      They should gain the trust of their users first if they really want to see things like this pick up steam IMO

      Why bother? How much do the users pay them?

    • Sadly, this isn't true. Do you see a drop in amount of facebook users with all the privacy issues they constantly have? Nope. Average Joe doesn't care about "trust" or "security", because he doesn't even know what those things are.

      That's why they click yes on "Run free-chicks.exe as root?".

      • Average Joe doesn't care about "trust" or "security", because he doesn't even know what those things are.

        Until the very last moment when it comes back into his face. But then it's already to late.

        That's why they click yes on "Run free-chicks.exe as admin?".

        (NB: FTFY)

        Yup. Just have a look at how much click jacking has become rampant lately.
        And the joe-six-pack reaction when he notice that the pseudo-'video player' has auto-liked itself and auto-plublished itself on the wall, is just "LOL". Doesn't even bother do delete the post, and unfriend/unlike the page or block the app.

  • by PSVMOrnot ( 885854 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:40AM (#41108459)

    Yet another reason why I don't trust Facebook, Google, or any other of these sorts of company with my mobile number.

    If I want to buy something I'll take out my credit card tap in all the numbers and buy it. At least that way I *know* that I'm buying something, and I'm not nastily surprised when my mobile bill is huge after hitting the wrong button when my touchscreen plays up.

    • Same here even had to remove a pretty popular youtube account/channel after they wanted my mobile number. No thanks...

  • Humans make mistakes all the time. That's why making it really, really easy to pay for things online is a bad idea. What to speak of the problems a malicious takeover of ones system produces, very easy online payments will make many, many people pine for doing things the hard way.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you want one, chances are you aren't very good at dealing with finances or life in general.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I give it 3 months. Between click fraud, deceptive ads that trick you into accidentally buying stuff and hackers, people will soon be scared to even log into their facebook accounts.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:50AM (#41108613) Homepage

    Could this help Facebook regain the lost trust for their investors?

    Only if they can gain the trust of a fair amount of users.

    I use Facebook, but under a fake name with as little personal information as I can give them. There's no way I'd trust Facebook with financial information.

    I've no doubt that at least some users will think this is grand, but there's no way I'd ever use this. Their level of trust from me is arms length and suspicious.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Users? Fuck users!

    • I believe that they have ably demonstrated that they do not need the trust of their users.

    • This is just part of FB' continous mutations. Remember what FB was like before twitter became popular? Then they "twitterised" it, added news feeds, timeline and other nonsense. However now post IPO the pressure is on and people are realising that FBs model for making money does n't make any sense, so you get crazyness like buying instagram, constant talk about making money from mobile and now payments.

      In the end FB will probably get into a feedback loop where they have to become more and more obnoixious

    • I use a fake name too, but they know who my friends are, they know what my friends like and they know how I look like if my friends tag me on their pictures. Pretty sure that it's not hard to find my identity online.
  • by P-niiice ( 1703362 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:51AM (#41108625)
    Hey! p-niiice just bought a FLESHLIGHT from FLASHLIGHT.COM! p-niiice recommends you buy a FLESHLIGHT from too!
  • by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:53AM (#41108643)
    This is one of the reasons I have never acquired any of the bonus cards of the supermarkets.
    • Thing about those bonus cards is, they're for harvesting demographic data primarily. The store will give you a discount to get an edge on what to put on the shelves. Remember that cinnamon-flavored Mountain Dew they had a few years back? I liked it. I also got severely hooked on vanilla diet Pepsi, of all things. Neither of which you can find in the stores around here. They were serious niche market items that my local supermarket doesn't stock anymore. Neither does Walmart, for that matter, at least
      • by Geeky ( 90998 )

        If a company needs to know what to put on the shelves, surely it can just track what actually sells. They know the quantity purchased from any given store, why on earth would they care who's buying it?

        Bonus cards are to make you think twice before shopping elsewhere - go past the CrappyMart because you have a card for ShittyMart down the road. That's all.

        • Re:Privacy (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @10:50AM (#41109549) Homepage

          Ah, good 'ol loyalty cards. I prefer disloyalty cards []. ;)

          Anyway, it's a mix. Yes, they want to motivate you to keep coming back. But these stores also like to know crazy amounts of information about you. Aka, not just what's disappearing in a particular store, but what's being consumed by what demographics, what's bought at the same time, etc, to help determine product positioning, marketing campaigns, and so forth. Here's a crazy article on the lengths some companies go []. The first paragraph, as a teaser:

          Andrew Pole had just started working as a statistician for Target in 2002, when two colleagues from the marketing department stopped by his desk to ask an odd question: “If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that? ”

        • Or go to SnootyMart like me. :-) It's not the cheapest, but they have a deli, bakery and butcher in store that are the best for miles around, and the loyalty card along with cash register generated coupons generally brings the prices in line with other, scruffier stores.

          They redid the store last year to replace most of the harsh lighting with moodier indirect stuff, and at Christmas they bring in a grand piano and someone to play holiday tune. Last year's dude took requests. He knew the freaking Claymation

        • No, they're also for targeted advertising, by doing statistical analysis of the purchases:

          About a year after Pole created his pregnancy-prediction model, a man walked into a Target outside Minneapolis and demanded to see the manager. He was clutching coupons that had been sent to his daughter, and he was angry, according to an employee who participated in the conversation.

          âoeMy daughter got this in the mail!â he said. âoeSheâ(TM)s still in high school, and youâ(TM)re sending her coupons for baby clothes and cribs? Are you trying to encourage her to get pregnant?â

          The manager didnâ(TM)t have any idea what the man was talking about. He looked at the mailer. Sure enough, it was addressed to the manâ(TM)s daughter and contained advertisements for maternity clothing, nursery furniture and pictures of smiling infants. The manager apologized and then called a few days later to apologize again.

          On the phone, though, the father was somewhat abashed. âoeI had a talk with my daughter,â he said. âoeIt turns out thereâ(TM)s been some activities in my house I havenâ(TM)t been completely aware of. Sheâ(TM)s due in August. I owe you an apology.â


      • Why ask for a credit card number when you can rest assured that most customers who actually have and use one will pay with it and present their 'loyalty card' in the same transaction within the fairly near future?

      • I always know it's over for something I like when it starts to get stocked on lower and lower shelves. :-(

      • Pure marketting demographics research, for which they were willing to 'pay' me in discounts on food and gas purchases at the supermarket-owned gas station at the end of their parking lot. That's what those bonus cards are for

        That's what you think. But the amount of data and how they can mine it is scary.
        See the embarrassing anecdote [] about Target, and the 'statistically pregnant daughter' as an example. (And remember: all this was done with completely legally acquired data. No snooping involved. Just the power of statistics).

        And what did Target learn from this story? That they should stop mining data in such a way that provide embarrassing insight in the private life of individuals? No.
        They learned that next time they have to h

    • I have one.

      The experience has been uneventful other than the occasional 2 for 1 on the french bread rolls from their awesome bakery. Sweet Feathery Jesus, they make sourdough French bread that can cause spontaneous orgasms like in the Matrix. Wish I had some right now. ...

      WTF was the topic again?

    • I've always used my companies phone number. It has the added advantage of I get plenty of discounts even though I barely shop there.
  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:53AM (#41108645) Homepage

    The goal here is to make payment so easy that you don't have the time to reconsider the purchase decision while, for instance, you're pulling out your wallet to get out your credit card. These are people that firmly believe that the way to make the world a better place is to make it easier for them to buy stuff whether or not it is of any use to them whatsoever. I know, because I've attended one of the major conferences in the industry and met some of these folks and listened to their talks about this sort of technology.

    And of course, what makes it easy for a legitimate business to take your money also makes it easy for a not-so-legitimate business or a thief to take your money.

    • by alen ( 225700 )

      same concept as the supermarket check out line magazines and other trinkets. that stuff is high margin.

      newegg and amazon do the same thing with suggested add ons. geeks fall for it as well just different products

      • same concept as the supermarket check out line magazines and other trinkets. that stuff is high margin.

        newegg and amazon do the same thing with suggested add ons. geeks fall for it as well just different products

        I don't think these are all that similar, because you still see these add ons in the cart and are likely to delete them during check out if they are frivolous.

        "Frictionless" is more along the lines of one-click buying.

    • Agreed. I had such a "frictionless" experience recently with Groupon.

      I wanted two coupons of something, select the number, click , expect to first see a total that they're going to charge me, but no, directly charged. Irritating. I really should try and wipe my credit card number from my acount with them. They really should give me the actual amount they're going to charge and let me agree on that. Even after processing the purchase they didn't show me iirc.

      Also I wonder if they unsubscribed me from their n

      • My favorite permutation of this is the 3rd party billing "feature", turned on by default by your friendly neighborhood cellular service conglomerate.

        3rd party billing allows for businesses to add charges to your phone bill, and the carrier makes no effort to verify whether you actually agreed to anything. That means a crook can add arbitrary monthly charges to your bill simply by knowing your phone number and claiming you opted in. Best of all, the carrier won't reverse the charges even if you can prove y

    • The goal here is to make payment so easy that you don't have the time to reconsider the purchase decision while, for instance, you're pulling out your wallet to get out your credit card.

      Sure. They are encouraging impulsiveness and giving impulsive (undisciplined) people what they want.

      These are people that firmly believe that the way to make the world a better place is to make it easier for them to buy stuff whether or not it is of any use to them whatsoever.

      Then their relationship to the world is that of a parasite. They are feeding off a character weakness. Of course they think that's good. Ticks and fleas think sucking your blood is good, too.

      It's just that the mainstream is not terribly thoughtful or insightful. So when it's something physical and obvious, like a tick sucking blood, they recoil and see that it's a nasty parasite. When it's something

      • To be among that many marketdroids... Did it resemble a robotics class?

        No, it resembled a remedial course in comparative literature: Anyone with half a brain could tell that most of what was being said was nonsense, but most of the attendees were eating it up.

  • bitcoin?


    • *ducks*

      You know what? Given the current economy, I might be willing to accept ducks as currency.

  • Seriosuly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ericloewe ( 2129490 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:57AM (#41108701)

    The last thing we need is for Facebook to trick people into making it powerful in a whole new way.

  • facebook loses even more users.

    IMHO, that is just one evil, evil, empire. I hate to sound like a conspirator, but I wouldn't put it past a greater power, rather than Zergabuger, being responsible for knowing the intimate details of your life.
  • The only friction they are removing is by greasing the path from my pocket to their pocket.

    And I'd rather there BE friction there, since it's my pocketbook on the line.

  • From the threads on 4chan, it's apparent lots of people are paying through Facebook already.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @10:18AM (#41109019) Homepage

    Because I have had a "3rd party billing" block on my AT&T account for years. and I suggest everyone do the same. it keeps scumbag companies like bango from being able to charge your Mobile phone number for anything.

    • I have had a "3rd party billing" block on my AT&T account for years.

      Is this for your cell phone, a "landline", or both?

      How does one go about this and confirm that the block is in place. Is this legally required of phone companies (cell, landline, VOIP, cable phone providers)?

      3rd party billing is clearly something that should be required by law to be explicitly opt-in.

      • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

        Land Line? I haven't had one of those for over 6 years.

        to confirm the block? call up customer service and ask, "are you still blocking 3rd party billing?"

  • as long as this means that i can get PAID this way. Heck i have a prepaid Amex i could link to this.

  • Paying Through Facebook May Become a Reality

    should read

    Paying Through Facebook May Become Possible

    FTFY... it will never be my reality.

  • I have perfectly good credit card that gives me perfectly good rewards to the point that I run my whole life through it and get nearly a thousand dollars a year in free stuff. It's also with a bank that is S.H.I.E.L.D.-like when it comes to detecting and snuffing out unauthorized shit. So why do I want some other middle man to get in the way again?

  • Sounds like the potential for a good fucking, all right, but not necessarily the kind you want.

    Payment using Facebook? I don't think so. Why not be done with it and make barcode tattoos on foreheads mandatory?

  • So silky smooth, you don't even notice you're being financially raped.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Bango (AIM: BGO), announced on 21 May 2012 that Peter Saxton, Bango’s CFO, had notified the Board of Bango of his wish to retire, on a schedule to be agreed with the Board that will ensure an orderly hand-over to a new CFO. This process is ongoing and is expected to be completed by November 2012.


    Peter Saxton, Chief Financial Officer at mobile web payments firm Bango, has sold 386,701 shares on 23 August 2012 at a price of 179.50p per share.

  • "Frictionless" payment is how Bango puts it.

    Can we all agree that whenever a corporation uses the term "frictionless payment," we simply replace it with "greasing the consumer's wallet." People tend to think of friction as a negative term, but do you really find that you're having trouble getting your card or the linen out of your wallet because there's simply too much friction? If someone offered a "frictionless wallet" from which money slips out effortlessly, would you buy it? Some things, like brakes and wallets, are useless without friction.


  • I don't even trust them with my personal information, why in the world would I give them my financial information?
  • Fortunately, the deal did not go through. Apparently, the lawyer who was supposed to oversee it scratched his nose at a charity auction and inadvertantly paied $10,450,000 for a screwdriver with some old chewing gum on the handle. Apparently it was a celebrity item. The lawyer, though a man of considerable means, could not come up with the cash and was detained for some time until he could convince them there was no intent of fraud. He is, however, permanently banned from the auction venue and as I said

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.