Chances are you have not heard of Social Payment Media (SPM), and for good reason. This is a new term. But the trend behind the term – the integration of social media and payment systems – is growing.
Facebook recently announced the development of its own payment system. The company is close to obtaining approval from the Central Bank of Ireland to start a service that would allow users to store money on Facebook and use it to pay and exchange with others, including mobile payments.
Apple is getting close to releasing mobile payment services as well, illustrating the trend: the divide between payment systems and social messengers is fading fast.
Why is this happening?
With the onset of mobile digital communications, people’s behavior has changed dramatically. Data transmission time has reduced, making it easier to organize and monitor business and personal activities. The interaction between people has reached a new level. At first, the mobile message traffic share did not exceed 30 percent of the total communication services’ scope, but with continuous technology developments, the mobile Internet is flourishing. Even popular online business domains strive to mobilize their businesses: E-Commerce => M-Commerce.
The uprising of e-trade has led to a considerable boost of payment services from pioneering online payment systems, such as PayPal and Authorize.net. As a result, today, everyone can get what they need without leaving home; the “pay and be paid online” principle has been established. For example, anyone with a bank account (credit or debit card) can create an eWallet account and pay online for goods and services, using both cash and its electronic equivalent. Furthermore, often the exchange of e-money is more profitable due to partnership programs run by different payment systems.
Simultaneously, highly interactive social media platforms have launched. Social media seriously change the way people communicate in the modern world. It’s no wonder this medium is becoming more and more dependent on mobile technology, and deeply connected to instant messaging tools.
As is the case with social networks, popular instant-messenger offerings like WhatsApp and Viber are becoming an essential part of our smartphone or tablet desktop. The use of push-notification technology has given new life to the development of mobile messengers. As a rule, they are very simple but have comprehensive functionality; they transfer different types of images and videos, and even geo-location parameters. The only thing missing is mobile payments. To place this last piece in the puzzle, we must connect the link between social media, instant messengers and payment systems. In doing so, we get the fastest and safest method to transfer money, providing that mobile apps testing has verified there are no security breaches.
What does the future hold for social payment media?
I foresee the near future will bring a merging of mobile messenger-identification passwords and electronic wallet IDs. Not only will this allow data transfer, but it will significantly assist in quickly and easily transferring money and e-payments. This will expand the functionality and turn the messaging channel into a cash transaction pipe. Thus, e-Wallet could be linked directly to a mobile phone number (not a nickname, username and password), which makes the overall system much more safe and efficient. SPM is a completely new domain – an alliance of payment systems, social messengers and networks – with a bright future.