Facebook Wants Banks to Hand Over Your Financial Information

Gladys Abbott
August 7, 2018

Facebook has also suggested that it could perhaps integrate banks' fraud alerts or account balances into the app.

Facebook is asking major USA banks for financial data in order to provide more online shopping services and to track consumer spending habits, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Facebook reached out to JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and U.S. Bancorp in the past year about partnering, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

In return for financial data, Facebook is offering banks a presence on its Messenger app, sources told The WSJ. "We also don't have special relationships, partnerships, or contracts with banks or credit card companies to use their customers' purchase data for ads". Citigroup and Wells Fargo refused to comment.

"Account linking enables people to receive real-time updates in Facebook Messenger where people can keep track of their transaction data like account balances, receipts, and shipping updates", Facebook said Monday in a statement.

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But word Facebook is fishing for financial information comes amid concerns it has not vigilantly guarded private information.

Rivals like Amazon and Google are seeking the same information, the Journal noted, and though one should be appropriately wary of any company asking for this privilege, they don't have massive data protection scandals like the Cambridge Analytica situation fresh in everyone's memory.

When news of the potential partnerships became public, Facebook shares increased by about 3.5% through midday.

At any rate, according to the WSJ, Facebook is not interested in using any data it would gain from banks for ad-targeting purposes. The company is aiming to boost user engagement, particularly with its Messenger service, after Facebook lost more than $120 billion ins market value in a single day earlier this summer.

A JPMorgan spokesperson said that the company is not sharing its customers' transaction details with these third parties. "Like many online companies, we routinely talk to financial institutions about how we can improve people's commerce experiences, like enabling better customer service", said Diana. A partnership with Facebook could help them do it.

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