ADOTAS – As it aims for a larger slice of the virtual goods pie and possibly step on PayPal’s turf, Facebook has put up notice that it is building a “payments operation” team and looking for a strategist and a payment and risks specialist.
According to the classified, the payment operations team will monitor and report on all money coming into Facebook:
“Projects driven by Payment Operations team members will potentially contribute millions of dollars to Facebook’s business, as well as enable the company to scale and expand its operations in the coming years.”
Estimates from Business Insider show Facebook’s gift store brought in $75 million last year. Users playing popular social games like Farmville purchase many of their virtual goods through intermediaries such as PayPal; Facebook stands to make serious gains by taking a larger portion of that businesses. Virtual goods in developer Crowdstar’s new game Happy Island can only be bought through Facebook.
However, a long-term goal appears to be setting up a system that would rival PayPal, allowing users to buy goods and services from third-party e-cmmerce sites. Facebook Connect allows users to register accounts on third-party sites.
To buoy the growing importance of payments, last summer Facebook brought on Prashant Fuloria, who helped run Google Checkout, and Ivan Kirigin, an engineer from payments startup TipJoy.