Facebook’s big ask

By Teamspirit on Tuesday, 4 September 2018

According to recent reports from The Wall Street Journal, the social media giant is looking expand on its Messenger app and provide a financial service to its users. The company in an email denied they were asking for financial transaction data, but instead were looking to partner with banks and credit card companies.

The aim, it seems, is to give users a way to check their account balance and perhaps even include a feature that alerts users of fraudulent activity. This could be Facebook’s way of jumpstarting the transition to a more open and convenient way of banking. The advent of open banking has already hit Europe, so the US is undoubtedly going to follow suit.

But is this a move that will be welcomed by the general public? The company is still recovering from the Cambridge Analytica ordeal. They’re also still pushing ads out on YouTube, and messages have popped up around cities, reassuring users about their trustworthiness. They talk about fake news, spam, clickbait and more.

Whether these messages have been effective remains to be seen and it’ll be interesting to see how far they get on their mission to bring big banks onboard. They’re already working with the likes of American Express, Mastercard and PayPal, so it’s anyone’s guess as to what the future holds for the Messenger app and the world of financial collaborations.

Perhaps this is something we should be on the lookout for more – the idea that lines are truly blurring between industries. It’s an exciting space, but also unchartered territory. So let’s approach with caution and remember that we’re here to serve the people, not ourselves.

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