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“I don’t think these are indicative of payments aspirations as much as they are indicative of these companies’ desires to consummate sales,” Rick Oglesby, senior analyst at Centennial, Colo.-based Double Diamond Payments Research, says by email. “One of the major implications of online commerce is that advertising and selling can merge into a single activity. To do this, online advertisers need some payments capability, although the goal isn’t necessarily to monetize payments themselves. Rather the goal is to monetize selling, of which payments is a part.

Payments firms, however, do face some risks as the social networks work to make e-commerce on their sites easier, Oglesby adds. “What they [payments companies] currently sell as a stand-alone solution is being swallowed up by greater solutions that incorporate payments,” he says. “So payments companies need to be rethinking their long-term strategies.”

Digital Transactions, July 18, 2014