Facebook has decided to eliminate a few redundant aspects of identity verification for those who make in-app purchases through Facebook mobile apps.
Previously, before making a purchase of virtual goods in a Facebook app, the user had to go through a series of up to seven steps, between deciding to purchase and successfullly completing a purchase, including SMS verification, password re-entry, and security questions.
App developers felt they were unable to reach a large market who, directly after deciding to purchase, would drop out of the purchase process when too many identity verification procedures were repeated.
After a user signed into Facebook, already allowing the application to collect their user data, and agreeing to purchase something virtually (like a pretty red barnhouse for their Farmville plot, for example), interrupting the user's experience with redundant verification requirements meant less sales at the price of little added security.
Now Facebook has made a "low friction" billing process available through major carriers in the US and UK. There are only two steps in this process, compared to the previous seven.
We can expect greater farm envy to be the inevitable result. Unless, as some say, Facebook's main revenue stream is only ads, and mobile payments will ultimately die on the vine.