PayPal predicts: Aussies may soon be using their Facebook accounts to make payments

Whether it’s maintaining a ‘snap streak’ with your mates or double tapping your way through Instagram, Aussies are addicted to social media. And according to Paypal, pretty soon we’ll be making more payments through social media platforms.

Also known as ‘social commerce’, the idea involves a user being able to make purchases through apps like Facebook or WhatsApp, along with a focus on new ways Aussies can manage their money through apps.

Smartphone sales accounted for just under 50% of online retail in Australia, but according to PayPal's Chief Executive for Asia Pacific, Rohan Mahadevan Australia is still lagging in terms of social commerce.

However, he does predict this number to increase as customers spend more time on social media than anywhere else online.

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“Making use of all these different channels is something we’re trying to bring out and communicate to these merchants. Because at the end of the day what’s important is, it’s where people spend their time," Mahadevan said during a recent interview in Sydney..

The move towards social media will not only affect the everyday Aussie, but online Paypal merchants looking to profit through social media.

At the moment, only 16% of Paypal’s merchant customers sell through various social media platforms, but this is also predicted to increase.

"It’s definitely moving in that direction, but I would like to see it go faster,” he said. “What we’re trying to do is bring the best of what we’ve seen in different parts of the world to Australia and our merchants here.”

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And with social media now being used more than just to post a picture, banks have also shifted their focus into how payments via social media can be improved in order to entice younger customers.

So far, Westpac have successfully launched a service that allows Aussies to make payments through Apple’s iMessage.

"We’ve seen many thousands of transactions occurring on this platform and are receiving positive feedback from customers about its convenience,” said Westpac's General Manager of Consumer Digital, Travis Tyler.

Paypal currently has more than 6 million Aussie customers and while the system offers a simple and secure payment method, customers should still be wary of the dangers of online shopping. If you do have a Paypal account, here are 3 quick tips to help you keep cyber thieves at bay:

  • Link your account to your credit card, not your bank account - If someone where to get a hold of your bank details, they could clean out your account. However, if the account is linked to your credit card, you can dispute the charge with your card provider.
  • Never click on any links in Paypal emails - Hackers often use realistic and fake emails to get access to a customer’s bank details. If you do ever receive an email that appears to be from Paypal, log into your account to check for any similar messages.
  • Keep an eye on your Paypal balance - Many thieves also attempt to drain Paypal account through smaller and frequent withdrawals. So if you start to notice your bank balance slowly shrinking, call Paypal immediately.

And if you’re in the market for a new bank account, why not take our bank account comparison tool for spin? It currently compares 107 bank accounts from 56 banks.