Facebook asks US banks to share detailed information about users

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Facebook has approached JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and U.S. Bancorp about sharing customers


Facebook is weighing partnerships with U.S. banks to offer services on Messenger. 

The social media giant has approached JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and U.S. Bancorp in the past year about sharing customers’ financial data, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources close to the situation. 

Data would include things like users’ card transactions and checking account balances.  

However, Facebook has reportedly received some push back from a few banks it has met with surrounding its ability to adequately protect users’ data. 

Since its massive privacy row earlier this year, Facebook has been trying to prove it can safeguard users’ data, despite its well-known practices of sharing their information with third parties and advertisers.

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Facebook has approached JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and U.S. Bancorp about sharing customers' financial data, like card transactions and checking account balances

Facebook has approached JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and U.S. Bancorp about sharing customers’ financial data, like card transactions and checking account balances

One large US bank dropped off from further talks due to privacy concerns, the Journal noted.  

Facebook continues to grapple with the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. 

In March, it was revealed that 87 million users’ data was scraped without their knowledge and shared with Trump-affiliated research firm Cambridge Analytica. 

The firm is currently being investigated by several government agencies over its handling of user data.

By obtaining information from banks, Facebook would be able to establish features that enable users to check their account balances in Messenger, as well as receive fraud alerts about their account within the app.

Many banks worry about assuring user privacy, despite wanting to reach customers on more digital platforms. 

They also face rising competition from peer-to-peer platforms like Venmo, PayPal and Zelle. 

JPMorgan spokeswoman Trish Wexler told the Journal that it’s not ‘sharing our customers’ off-platform transaction data with these platforms, and have had to say no to some things as a result.’ 

Facebook maintains that it wouldn’t use customer data for ad targeting or make it available to third parties. 

It maintains that such partnerships would help drive additional engagement and time spent on the Messenger app.  

‘We don’t use purchase data from banks or credit card companies for ads,’ Facebook spokeswoman Elisabeth Diana told the Journal.

‘We also don’t have special relationships, partnerships or contracts with banks or credit card companies to use their customers’ purchase data for ads.’  

Instead, it would offer customer service features for popular banks through the Messenger app. 

Facebook has been trying to beef up the number of services offered via Messenger beyond messaging. Last year, it reached a deal with PayPal to let users send money in the app 

Facebook has been trying to beef up the number of services offered via Messenger beyond messaging. Last year, it reached a deal with PayPal to let users send money in the app 

Facebook has been trying to beef up the number of services offered via Messenger beyond messaging. Last year, it reached a deal with PayPal to let users send money in the app 

HOW FACEBOOK MESSENGER’S PAYMENT SYSTEM WORKS 

To send money, US- based Messenger users can tap a new ‘$’ icon that’s next to the buttons that let them send photos, stickers or a thumbs up sign.

They must then enter the amount of money they want to send, tap ‘pay’ on the top right corner of their screens and enter their debit card number.

To receive money for the first time, users must enter their the card number.

Once this has been done, they can create a pin code that they will need to enter the next time they want to send money.

Users who have recent iPhone models can choose to use Touch ID instead to authorise transactions using their fingerprint. 

The firm has been trying to beef up the number of services offered via Messenger beyond messaging. 

Last year, Facebook landed a deal with PayPal that lets users send money via Messenger. 

Google and Amazon may have also asked banks to share data to provide banking services on applications like Google Assistant and Alexa, according to the Journal. 

Earlier this year, biometric software company Daon said it had developed a skill that lets users send money using Alexa.  

The feature could arrive on the internet giant’s voice-activated speakers and devices in the next nine to 18 months.   

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