Friday, 18 October, 2019

Facebook asks U.S. banks for financial info to boost user engagement

Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook Facebook Wants Banks to Hand Over Your Financial Information Associated Press 6 Aug 2018
Russell Knight | 06 August, 2018, 22:54

Facebook has asked large USA banks to share financial information about their customers as it seeks to offer new services to users, according to The Wall Street Journal. The information would be used to offer new services to Facebook account holders. At least one major U.S. bank left talks with the company due to privacy concerns, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Facebook is pushing back against a report in Monday's Wall Street Journal that the company is asking major banks to provide private financial data. One bank has reportedly pulled out of discussions with Facebook because of the issue. The sticking point for banks, unsurprisingly, is data privacy.

Wells Fargo declined to comment.

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According to the report, Facebook has asked banks "to discuss potential offerings it could host for bank customers on Facebook Messenger", as well as offer a feature to display checking account balances. Facebook is now facing multiple investigations related to its ties to Cambridge Analytica, the political analytics company that accessed data on up to 87 million Facebook users without their consent.

Facebook has been trying for a long time to make its Messenger app a hub for commercial activity. In an effort to better protect user data, the company earlier in March said it ended "Partner Categories", which let advertisers use information from third-party data providers such as Experian and Oracle Data Cloud. In order for Facebook to show users' banking information, Facebook would need to have access to that same data too, which it could then use to improve its ad-targeting algorithms. 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. This marks the largest gain since the rapid drop in July.

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