Social media, like any other innovation, is likely to go through a refinement period, which seems like a never-ending process of updates and improvements. Despite its substantial list of pros and cons, social media sites and apps have been here for more
than a decade and its footprint in today’s society is both profound and undeniable.
The social media technology pioneers that have changed how we socially interact, have moved the bar again, by implementing a payment gateway within the social media ecosystem. It has now changed how we may make payments to our friends, family and associates.
If you thought that social media technology was a big disrupter to our social interactions, think about how social media payments can disrupt the payments business. One might ponder if social media payments can be the catalyst for a cashless society one day.
Social media platforms have all the right ingredients needed for having a strong payment platform, it can reach across distant and remote locations, a huge consumer base that increases exponentially, ease of use with far better customized user interface
than other mobile or web applications, social cohesion across the consumers that can easily initiate a channel of communication.
Despite all these benefits, the adoption of social media payments is considerably lower than expected, when compared to the adoption of other recent payment trends, such as real time payments and mobile payments. PayPal first popularized the trend, and other
companies have since hatched their own versions, including Apple Pay, Twitter Buy, Google Wallet, WhatsApp Pay, Venom, Snapcash.
Facebook, who owns WhatsApp, a social media messenger app, with a user base of 200 million and growing, could prove to be a full-fledged social media payment platform. Given WhatsApp’s platform: broad set of payment streams, reinforcement of business opportunities
via virtual offices and direct sales, ability to personalize selling opportunities based on consumer data, and quicker payment via the right consumer footprint, the use case of social media payments is vast.
Considering the massive database of users that social media possesses, and the payment capabilities readily available today via technology, it made perfect sense to bring the two together…right?
So, what are some of the challenges of social media payments you might ask… Cybersecurity?
If the systems are compromised, hackers can potentially access the bank information for every user. It is easy to manipulate the payments on the app, all one needs is access to the mobile device with the social media app logged in. The case is similar for
mobile banking, but in mobile banking the app session logs out after non usage (for a defined time interval), which is not the same in the case of social media payments. Your phone’s security features will be more important than ever, as social media payment
apps will require PIN and Biometrics for authorization and authentication purposes to access your social media apps and it’s payments functions.
So, should you view social media payment as a friend or a foe? If social media payments, like any other innovation, goes through its refinement period related to cybersecurity. We can then expect that one day social media payments will be considered a
friend to most, and consequently, drive growth of social payments.