Facebook Credits updated, new payment methods added

Summary:Facebook has announced several updates to Facebook Credits, including a breaking change for the Credits callback, new payment methods, a new policy, and updated documentation.

Facebook has announced several updates to Facebook Credits. There are four major news items you should know about: a breaking change for the Credits callback, new payment methods, a new policy, and updated documentation.

The breaking change is the removal of the 'settled' callback. The Pay Dialog currently generates three callbacks: the first is the item details with method=payments_get_items, the second is method=payments_status_update after the user completes the order (status is moved from the placed to settled state and sent back to Facebook), and the third sometimes happens to notify you that the order has been moved to the settled state (requires no action/response from the developer).

Previously, Facebook's documentation asked developers to fulfill the order on status=settled. Now, this callback is no longer called deterministically and as a result, if you are fulfilling the order on this callback, then your users may not be getting the item in some cases.

Facebook is thus asking you to ensure you're fulfilling the order in the callback with status=placed so the transaction will be complete and you will be paid. You should not be waiting for the settled callback before fulfilling the order.

The settled callback will be completely removed on March 1, 2012. For more details on how to set up the backend callback for your app, see the Credits Callback documentation.

Secondly, Facebook now supports 80+ payment methods in 50+ countries around the world (full list). Here are the most recently added payment methods:

  • ELV (Germany)
  • MyCard Mobile (Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan)
  • Visa Electron (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Finland, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand)
  • WebBilling Online Bank Transfer (Austria, Germany, Spain, Switzerland)

Thirdly, Facebook has decided that an app should not invoke the Pay Dialog with an app_id different from that of the app that the user is making the purchase in (there are a few exceptions but apps that serve solely as a payment portal are not one of them). In order to improve the level of transparency to the source of Credits transactions, the company has added this new policy to the Facebook Credits Terms in order to prohibit routing Credits from one app to another app without prior authorization:

2.14 You may not accept Credits in one application and deliver or transfer the purchase to the user in another app without our prior authorization. For example, an app solely designed to facilitate transactions is not permitted.

The deadline you need to worry about is January 1, 2012; apps that are not compliant by then could have their Credits disabled shortly after.

Last but not least, Facebook has revamped its Credits documentation on its Developer site. There are now more details, and the documentation has been sectioned into multiple documents to make it easier to find relevant information. The social networking giant is also in the process of moving all developer-specific FAQs for Credits to the Developer site so that you can get all information related to Credits in one place.

See also:

Topics: Enterprise Software, Banking, Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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