Facebook, Amazon, PayPal duke it out

The online payments war continues after Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) said earlier this week it was launching a PayPal (NASDAQ:EBAY) competitor.

In the latest news, Facebook snared David Marcus, the president of PayPal, to lead its mobile messaging efforts. Industry insiders speculate that Facebook is tapping Marcus's expertise to monetize its messaging service, potentially through mobile payments and ad revenue.

"Facebook has previously said that it wants its standalone apps to hit at least 100 million users before it starts monetizing them. Messenger now has 200 million users and recent acquisition WhatsApp has 500 million, so they're both definitely eligible," Josh Constine wrote in a TechCrunch article.

Even Facebook hinted that Marcus would be looking outside of ads for how Messenger could bring in revenue. "David is a widely respected leader in the technology industry with a track record of building great products and finding creative ways to turn them into great businesses," the company wrote in a statement.

Mobile payments is not a new market for Facebook. The social giant applied for an e-money license in Ireland so it could handle peer-to-peer money transfers in Europe.

PayPal took another major hit this week when Amazon said it would manage payments for subscription services, allowing customers to pay bills for things like streaming music services with credit card information stored in Amazon's system. The roughly 240 million Amazon shoppers with stored credit card info will now be able to click the new payment button and have their accounts automatically debited.

"I think it's smart for Amazon to do this and expand their footprint in the one-click payment space," Nathalie Reinelt, an analyst with Aite Group, told CNN Money. Amazon will also launch its 3D smartphone soon, which will tighten its grip on the online and mobile payments space.

PayPal is not going down without a fight, however. Last month, it launched a new marketing effort to promote its capabilities in mobile payments and money transfers. Plus, it is the industry leader with roughly 148 million active accounts.

For more:
-See this TechCrunch article
-See this Facebook announcement
-See this FierceRetail article
-See this CNN Money article

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