Facebook Requesting The Financial Information Of Its Users From Banks

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Facebook is striving to reach a number of deals with major banks that could see the company have some access to the sensitive financial information of its users.

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the social media titan has reached out to various banks such as American Express, Citigroup, and JP Morgan Chase in order to propose “potential offerings it could host for bank customers on Facebook Messenger.”

Once Facebook becomes successful, it would be able to have access to detailed financial information of its users, including thier information on account balances and card transactions.

The news arrives as Facebook lost over $120 billion (£92.6 billion) off its market value within one day last month, after its revelation that it has reached a peak in the growth of its user numbers and that it was not able to achieve any substantial subscriber increases in the past three months.

The share price of the company grew by 4.45 percent as US markets closed late on Monday night, despite the own statement of Facebook on the matter that acknowledged consumer scepticism amid the data-sharing scandal that involved Cambridge Analytica.

A spokesperson from Facebook said that the company will not purchase information from the banks for advertisement purposes, nor will it utilise the data gained via such partnerships for anything that goes beyond customer service experiences.

The said services are already live via various fintech startups in the United Kingdom, which makes use of Facebook Messenger to power chatbot applications that help its users to manage their financial lives.

As an example, Cleo, a fintech that is based in London but is also live in Canada and the United States, offers some insights across all of the spending habits of a user across various credit cards and bank accounts in Messenger. These are broken down in terms of category, merchant, and transaction.

Reportedly, JP Morgan has already turned down the offer of Facebook because of concerns regarding privacy.

According to recent research that was conducted by the Ponemon Institute, the trust of the users of Facebook to handle private information has dropped by nearly 66 percent during the previous year.

Last month, the company suspended a second data analytics firm because of concerns that it was establishing surveillance tools by using information from Instagram and Facebook.