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Facebook wants to make mobile payments easier with 'Autofill'

Looking to make online payments quicker, the social network launches a service that lets customers make purchases by simply tapping in their Facebook credentials.

Mosaic's "Autofill with Facebook" form. Facebook

Facebook has officially started rolling out its new mobile payments feature -- albeit to a small group of users and at just a couple of retailers.

The social network quietly launched "Autofill with Facebook" on Monday, which is a mobile payments service that lets consumers pay for products on their smartphones with just their Facebook credentials.

"We are working on a mobile payments test called Autofill with Facebook that gives people the option to use their payment information already stored on Facebook to populate the payment form when they make a purchase in a mobile app," a Facebook spokesperson told CNET. "The app then processes and completes the payment."

Word first floated that Facebook was looking to expand its presence in mobile with a new payments feature last month. The idea is to create an online payments service for people who store their address and credit card information on the social network. These users can then buy products at select retailers by simply inputting their Facebook credentials.

Facebook's payments service makes the purchase with the credit card on file, and thus customers don't need to fill in any further billing information. The goal is to make online payments quicker and easier.

Facebook's platform is not to be confused with Google Wallet, which allows customers to make purchases in brick-and-mortar stores with their mobile devices. Facebook's service is designed solely to provide a different way for customers to make purchases in mobile apps; the platform will not handle actual payment processing.

So, what's in it for Facebook? Potentially, more advertising partners. According to AllThingsD, Facebook could market this feature as a way to drive more customers to its designated retail partners.

Currently, the feature is only available on two retail iOS apps -- Jack Threads and Mosaic, which are powered by Braintree; and only a select few users will be able to use the service immediately. Eventually, the social network plans to roll out Autofill with Facebook to all of its users. Facebook is also in talks to work more with Braintree, along with Stripe and PayPal.

[Via AllThingsD]