Facebook in talks with banks to expand customer service

Sean Reid
August 7, 2018

In exchange for potential features including fraud alerts and checking-account balance checks, Facebook is asking for some of its users' most sensitive financial information, such as their balances and where they use debit and credit cards.

The banks asked by Facebook included JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and U.S. Bancorp, while one "large U.S. bank pulled away from talks due to privacy concerns". The investment company's spokesperson Trish Wexler said the firm had refused to share "our customers' off-platform transaction data with these platforms, and had to say no to some things as a result".

Highlighting the fact that "Facebook has been a cesspool of privacy issues for quite a while", technology writer Curtis Silver argued in a piece for Forbes on Monday that it's time to "quit Facebook before it inevitably accesses your banking data".


Facebook has asked major USA banks to share customer data to allow it to develop new services on the social network's Messenger texting platform, a banking source told AFP on Monday. A critical part of these partnerships is keeping people's information safe and secure.

The social media company said it wouldn't use the bank data for ad-targeting purposes or share it with third parties, the WSJ said.

But word Facebook is fishing for financial information comes amid concerns it has not vigilantly guarded private information. And those on Facebook have become more comfortable using their credit cards in the news feed because of a product that enables people to ask their friends to donate to charitable causes. The information would be used to offer new services to Facebook account holders.


Shares of Menlo Park, California-based Facebook ended the day up 4.5 percent at $185.69.

Facebook has been trying for a long time to make its Messenger app a hub for commercial activity.

Wells Fargo declined to comment. "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.


What that means is that if you're anxious about Facebook having any connection with banks, the WSJ's report should alarm you. However, Facebook received good marks for "offering detailed terms of service and end-user agreements that explain how they use consumers' data", Consumer Reports said.

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