O2 allows Facebook top-ups

O2 is letting its prepaid subscribers top up their accounts directly from its Facebook page, which it claims is the first true social commerce strategy for a mobile operator.

o2

Users can top up their accounts through a secure app on the page by entering information including their credit card details. Purchases are confirmed on their phone via SMS.

The Facebook PAYG top-up scheme is an initial step in the operator’s social commerce plans, according to Alex Pearmain, O2’s head of social.

“Most stores let you browse their catalogue while in Facebook and then take you to their site to complete a
transaction,” he said. “We wanted Facebook to remain a destination for O2 customers rather than just another referral channel.”

Users can’t yet top up their O2 accounts using Facebook Credits, but this may change as social commerce becomes more mainstream.

“We decided to launch with a payment mechanism that people are already used to and confident with [in terms of security],” said Pearmain. “We’ll take this a lot further if it proves successful.”

Christian Hernandez, Facebook’s head of international business development, said, “We’re seeing a range of retail companies, from major traditional brands to startups, integrating with Facebook.”

Fashion brands including ASOS, French Connection and Lyle & Scott have been at the vanguard of social commerce, having launched Facebook stores throughout 2011.

Similarly, FMCG brands Heinz and Unilever’s Dove are experimenting with selling items directly though Facebook

This story first appeared on New Media Age. For more digital stories and analysis’ from NMA click here now

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