Facebook Tests “Pay Later” Option for Buying Virtual Goods

Facebook is testing a “Pay Later” option for purchasing goods within social games. Users who have never purchased Credits before can spend Credits they haven’t paid for and repay the balance later. Users can only repay a balance with a credit card or PayPal, not offers, gift cards, or mobile payment. Therefore, the option may be designed to get users to comfortable with buying virtual goods and get them to put their credit card or PayPal details on file with Facebook for quick purchasing in the future.

Facebook has signed deals with all the top social game developers including Zynga to make Credits the exclusive direct payment method. With plenty of games that accept Credits, the biggest barrier to users actively spending is getting their payment information on file. Pay Later, which seems to only be available for some users in some games, addresses this barrier. We obtained this information via an industry source and are currently unable to access the option ourselves.

When a user who has never bought Credits goes to purchase a virtual good, they’ll see a dialogue pop-up asking if they want to pay later and have “Facebook send you a bill for [price of the good in local currency].” They’ll then see their negative Credits balance in red with a link to “Repay” while playing games or using the Games dashboard. Users also receive a receipt for the purchase via email with a link to settle their balance.

Clicking these links brings users to an Unpaid Order History page showing the goods they bought, their existing balance, and a “Repay” button. If users choose to repay, the only payment methods which are offered are credit card and PayPal. Once a user has input payment details for one of these methods, future purchases only require a single click.

If users want to make another virtual goods purchase, they’re given the option to also pay off their debt during the transaction. However, users aren’t required to first settle there balance, and can still buy more goods through the Pay Later system, increasing their debt.

Purchasing virtual goods is still new to many Facebook users. By providing a free introduction to the purchase process, Facebook may be able to get users hooked. Then, by only allowing users to repay balances with methods which can be quickly reused later, Facebook has converted non-buyers into one-click-buyers.

Update: We’ve learned that that users can only go as far as -50 Credits into debt using the Pay Later option, significantly limiting Facebook’s liability.

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11 Responses to “Facebook Tests “Pay Later” Option for Buying Virtual Goods”

  1. MediaPost Raw » Blog Archive » Facebook Wants Your Credit Card Number says:

    [...] purchased Credits before can spend Credits they haven’t paid for and repay the balance later,” Inside Facebook reports. “Users can only repay a balance with a credit card or PayPal, not offers, gift cards, or [...]

  2. Facebook Tries “Pay Later” for Virtual Goods says:

    [...] a wild semi-rumor from Inside Facebook’s Josh Constine: Facebook is quietly testing a “Pay Later” feature for virtual goods in games like [...]

  3. Olivia says:

    Smart move on Facebook’s part but I still am finding it hard to believe that people will start to buy virtual goods online from a site such a Facebook. Do you think it will work out in the end?

  4. Facebook Tests Play Now, Pay Later Plan says:

    [...] buy virtual goods on credit then pay off the balance with Paypal or a credit card at a later date. Inside Facebook suggests that this may be a clever way to get people to upload card information which can later be [...]

  5. Facebook Credits ‘Pay Later’ Option: Virtual goods on layaway? | Games and Games Free Review Games says:

    [...] purchases while in social games and other apps, though it’s not live for everyone just yet, Inside Facebook reports. Players who have yet to purchase FB Credits will be prompted by a new option to pay later when [...]

  6. Жизнь взаймы | inSocialPlay — блог об играх для социальных сетей says:

    [...] сайта Inside Facebook, социальная сеть в настоящее время тестирует возможность покупать внутриигровые услуги и товары в [...]

  7. Facebook testa la nuova funzione PayLater - IoChatto says:

    [...] quanto riporta Inside Facebook, il social network di Mark Zuckerberg sta testando una nuova funzione legata all’acquisto dei [...]

  8. Lem says:

    Sounds like impulse shopping to me. haha

  9. Enas says:

    What happens if I don’t repay them?

  10. richard says:

    ako bata pa at walang paypal card sorry!!!!!

  11. Facebook Quietly Rolls Out Pay-Later Option For New Gamers - AllFacebook says:

    [...] which should ease up new gamers into buying virtual goods when they play casual games. According to InsideFacebook, after you accumulate your first virtual debt you will see your existing balance highlighted in [...]

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