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Are Facebook and Twitter your next revenue channels?

Are Facebook and Twitter your next revenue channels?

By: Renata Sandor

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You use social media to market your business, but what about accepting payments? Retailers are coming around to accepting online payments via Facebook and Twitter, from a cup of coffee with Starbucks to a large purchase like a plane ticket with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Not surprisingly, this is already predicted to be the wave of the future in social media strategy and payment processing technology.

In order to make payments on social media, users must first hook up a credit or debit card to the network. By July 2013, 26 percent of consumers have already made a purchase on a social media network like Facebook, and its popularity has only grown since then. The adoption of this payment method depends largely on how it is accepted among retailers. So far, few retailers have ventured to accept payments on Twitter or Facebook.

Social media networks and credit card companies are trying to foster the growth of this technology. Twitter and American Express have collaborated to let consumers buy goods by tweeting a special hashtag after connecting their AmEx card to the Twitter account. The beauty of these purchases is that the card information never actually leaves AmEx.

There are some down sides, primarily safety concerns. Social media users can share a lot of personal information on a very public platform, making them a target for identity theft and fraud. Consumers are also concerned with the quality of goods they could be buying. Who is liable?

As of yet, social media payments are just getting started. This is an undoubtedly growing trend, but it is still a while until it is widely accepted among payment processors, merchants, and consumers. 

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