Facebook wants more bank data to rebuild trust with users

"What is it? A data content farm for paying customers", Silver writes.

The Wall Street Journal had reported that Facebook approached JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and US Bancorp to ask for information about users' account balances and card transactions.

A further Facebook foray into finance could also help it compete with the likes of upstart tech firms like PayPal's Venmo, Zelle - a Venmo competitor launched by banks themselves - or the hoard of personal finance sites and apps that have exploded in recent years.

The social network could use the data to power products like Marketplace, where it encourages users to buy and sell services with friends and strangers in their area. Its latest effort? To try and convince banks to offer services inside Messenger, according to a new report.

Facebook has reportedly approached several of the biggest USA banks, asking them to share their customers' financial data with the social-media giant. Unless Facebook is able to reassure the banks that it either won't have direct access to the data itself, or that the data will never be used for advertising purposes, then the company may not succeed in convincing USA banks to share their customers data. At least one large U.S. bank has walked away from talks in light of the ongoing investigations into Facebook's data sharing practices, says the WSJ.

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.

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. Spokeswoman Elisabeth Diana has said "we don't use purchase data from banks or credit card companies for ads". The statement, obtained by Ars Technica, went on to portray it as common practice for all companies with commerce business to "partner with banks and credit card companies to offer services like customer chat or account management". Facebook likely hopes to capitalize on the pressure that big banks are experiencing to develop partnerships with large online platforms to reach more customers digitally.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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