MASTERCLASSING

Facebook in talks with banks about handing over your financial data

Tyrone Stewart

Mark ZuckerbergFacebook has been in talks with large US banks over the possibility of sharing financial information about customers and integrating this data into the social network.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook is looking to get its hands on information financial data, including card transactions and checking-account balances, as it looks to provide new services to its users.

It’s reported that Facebook has been in discussions with JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and US Bancorp. Although, these banks are said to not be particularly enthralled by what the social network is suggesting.

Facebook wants to use the information to provide banking notifications to its users by adding a financial feature to Messenger. These notifications could include showing users their bank balance or alert them to potential fraud on their account.

Contrary to The Wall Street Journal report, a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company was not asking for transaction data from banks and was not building a dedicated banking feature. Instead, it’s about improving the Messenger experience.

As such, Facebook already partners with financial institutions on Messenger chatbots that enable users to connect their accounts and check their balances, report fraud, and get help from customer services.

“The idea is that messaging with a bank can be better than waiting on hold over the phone – and it’s completely opt-in,” said the spokesperson. “We’re not using this information beyond enabling these types of experiences – not for advertising or anything else. A critical part of these partnerships is keeping people’s information safe and secure.”

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