Facebook turns on “frictionless” carrier billing via Bango

Facebook payments, Bango

Facebook is turning on “frictionless” mobile web carrier billing for in-app payments in the US, UK and Germany today, thanks to an integration with Bango. Facebook first announced a new streamlined payment flow in June for developers, available in the US and UK at the time. But now Bango is confirming it is powering the service, which is live now for mobile web consumers and will expand to more countries later this year.

This is important for Facebook because it means a quicker payment experience, which translates into higher conversions. Compared to traditional carrier billing, which can take up to seven steps, including a confirmation by text message, Bango payments are quick and often don’t require confirmation. Bango said its payments yield a conversion rate of 77 percent compared to 40 percent for traditional carrier billing payments.

Bango is able to do this because it stores all the payment data for users across all the app stores, websites and operators that use it including BlackBerry App World, Google Play, Opera Mobile Store, Electronic Arts, CNN, and 90 operators. When one of the 150 million existing “billable identities” makes a Facebook payment, they can forgo the identity verification process. Bango will also be providing providing payments for Amazon and is a technology partner for MasterCard’s PayPass mobile wallet.

For Facebook, better payments means potentially more revenue apart from ads. The social network has been scrambling to find new and better ways to monetize, especially on mobile. Facebook has been working to improve its advertising on mobile, by letting developers promote their apps to mobile users. And last week, it started testing out targeting ads for third-party apps and websites.

The streamlined payment system will only work for digital content on Facebook for now. But it could be part of a bigger play to bring Facebook payments to the real world.

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