A new Facebook application will now allow users to transfer money via an ‘e-wallet'.
Powered by the online payment company, Buxter allows users to register and load their own e-wallet in Euros or US dollars and transfer, receive and request money from other Facebook users free of charge.
The company said that Buxter is designed to encourage third party developers by giving them access to the Buxter-Facebook-API, as third party developers will be able to create individual business solutions within Facebook and then receive payments.
Charles Fraenkl, CEO of ClickandBuy, said: “Buxter is the application that will see Facebook members use the platform not just as a way to stay in touch but also as a fast, easy and secure way to exchange money or buy and sell products and services.”
So if Buxter is powered by ClickandBuy, how secure is the application developer? The company said that it is ‘certified by McAfee and tested by Germany's Technical Inspection and Testing Association' and is used for internet purchases by over 13 million people. It is used for payment processing by the likes of Apple iTunes, Napster, KPMG and mobile phone providers, is regulated by the FSA and includes 120 currencies and offers 50 national and international modes of payment throughout 30 countries.
So from this, we can assume that sterling will be offered soon. Looking into the terms and conditions, it explains that the application is used with a password and an account, and it is the user's ‘sole responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of your password and you are responsible for all activity that occurs under this'.
It states that it is ‘unable to check the identity of people using the applications' and that ‘you should make sure you are the only person using your password and you agree to notify the site holding your application of any unauthorised use of your password and any other breach of security as soon as you become aware of it'.
Shall we be honest? Facebook is hardly the safest platform. What impact will third party applications have on Buxter? It said ‘we are not responsible for the availability or content of any third party websites or material you access through the site. If you decide to visit any linked site, you do so at your own risk and it is your responsibility to take all protective measures to guard against viruses or other destructive elements'.
Considering that PayPal has dominated the online payments market through its (original) affiliation and eventual takeover by eBay, it could be argued that a move into an application on a social network was inevitable.
Head of software development at ClickandBuy Andrei Martchouk said that with Buxter it was offering an easy, affordable and integrated payment system to help monetise the kind of creativity seen by Facebook application developers.
Commenting on the conception of the application, he said: “I think the idea really popped into our minds, when we saw the amount of really great user generated content out there in absolutely fabulous communities on the one hand and the total lack of payment systems that use real money to conduct transactions.
“We just knew that a lot of the things that developers were creating had tremendous monetisation potential. That's when we started laying out our blueprints.”
At this early stage in Buxter's life I am trying to find something to criticise. Perhaps it is because it is hosted on Facebook – hardly a bastion for security, but one that is used by approximately 400 million people. With its FSA regulation and apparently strong reputation, I have no doubt that ClickandBuy know what they are doing, but perhaps we will wait with baited breath for a future problem.