Facebook seeks to partner with banking giants in an attempt to add banking capabilities to their Messenger app.
The social media giant reportedly approached Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, and Citigroup, among other top U.S. banks, for partnership on their Messenger app. The aim is for banks to release the financial data of Facebook users so that users can conduct banking transactions through Facebook Messenger.
Facebook is allegedly seeking “deeper user engagement” on its Messenger platform, looking for ways to have their users spend more time on the communication app. Facebook’s pitch is that when banks release their customers’ financial data to Facebook, social media users, who also double as bank customers, can conduct all of their banking transactions on the social media platform, removing the hassle of customers handling banking business traditionally such as over the phone or in person.
Facebook Promises Not To Use the Financial Data of Users for Advertising Purposes
Facebook has spoken against insinuations that they will use customers’ banking details for advertising purposes, adding that they have always partnered with banks and credit card companies to provide services related to chats and account management.
“We don’t use purchase data from banks or credit card companies for ads,” said spokeswoman Elisabeth Diana. “We also don’t have special relationships, partnerships, or contracts with banks or credit-card companies to use their customers’ purchase data for ads.”
The problem, however, is that Facebook is yet to recover from their privacy scandal and data leak issues just earlier this year. In the Cambridge Analytica scandal, millions of users on the social media platform had their personal data leaked into the hands of advertisers who used the data to influence purchases and possibly, even the presidential election. This data leak caused Facebook shares to plunge on the stock market, occasioning a loss of about $120 billion in market value.
Social Media and Banking Collaboration Not Likely to Occur Anytime Soon
Survey results have revealed that a chunk of people prefer to wait for hours on the phone for their banking issues rather than have Facebook access their financial data. Thousands of people have expressed fears over Facebook accessing their private data, saying they prefer banks to not have any collaborative partnership that involves data sharing with a social media platform.
A spokesperson for Wells Fargo states that banks may not be too receptive to a data sharing partnership with Facebook, especially when the social media giant is scrambling to get back on its feet from its last data leak.