Facebook testing out new mobile payments service

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Facebook is testing a new payments product that would allow online shoppers to make purchases using their login info, according to a new report from AllThingsD. The move is reportedly an effort to simplify online checkout processes.

Citing sources, the site describes the service as one that allows shoppers who have provided Facebook with their credit card credentials to make purchases on partnering e-commerce sites without having to enter their billing information…

From AllThingsD:

“The new product, if launched widely beyond its current small testing phase, would undoubtedly pit Facebook against digital payments giant PayPal on mobile devices. It would also compete with offerings from Google, Amazon and a host of startups such as Braintree, Stripe and Klarna, all up-and-coming outfits that are working, in one way or another, to make it easier to make purchases on mobile phones. All of these companies, including Facebook, recognize that it can be challenging to easily enter your payment details on small devices.”

The social network wants to clarify, though, that this isn’t a Paypal contender (yet). Facebook confirmed the test, which is taking place over the next month, and provided the following statement to the Wall Street Journal-owned website:

“We continue to have a great relationship with PayPal, and this product is simply to test how we can help our app partners provide a simpler commerce experience. This test does not involve moving the payment processing away from an app’s current provider.”

At any rate, it looks like JackThreads, a clothing and accessory site for men, is a pilot partner for Facebook’s checkout project. That’s not surprising considering how close the companies are, and how much their demographics likely overlap.

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And it’ll be interesting to see what becomes of this. The mobile payment space is wide open right now, as there are countless services already available, dozens more in the pipeline, and no clear market leader (save for maybe Paypal or Square) yet.

Apple has even been rumored to be getting into the space with a similar partner-payment service using its estimated 500+ million iTunes users. But that’s pure speculation at this point, as it has yet to show interest beyond its Passbook offering.

Thoughts? Would you sign up for a Facebook-run online checkout/payment service?