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Facebook Is Asking Banks to Join Their Messenger Service

A recent Wall Street Journal report has revealed that social networking giant Facebook has been asking more financial institutions to join its Messenger platform and share user information with them to facilitate some services.

The information includes credit card transactions and account balances.

According to the Wall Street Journal report, Facebook has been asking banks for users’ financial information so it can be used for Messenger features including account balance updates and fraud alerts. The company does not have access to financial data from some companies currently.

It’s important to note that the data would not be used for Facebook’s other platforms, considering Facebook has been facing scrutiny over data privacy in the last several months.

“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,” the statement said.

“The idea is that messaging with a bank can be better than waiting on hold over the phone – and it’s completely opt-in. 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.”

Being able to incorporate a user’s financial data into the Messenger platform will allow banks to offer their customer service through Messenger, according to Facebook.

Wall Street Journal reporter Deepa Seetharaman told CBSN, “The vast majority of our credit card transactions occur off Facebook, so that would be pulling in a lot more information into Facebook’s servers.”

“I think the pitch from Facebook is, Hey, your consumers are already here … why not just have this convenient add-on feature and this ability for them to interact with your bank on Messenger, since they are already there?”

CNET executive editor Ian Sherr said in an interview with CBSN, “Facebook is trying to become a one stop shop for the internet. They are trying to connect you with all of your friends, obviously they are the largest photo site on the web, and so it would make sense that they would try to become kind of a banking site too.”

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