Facebook has reportedly approached several of the biggest US banks, asking them to share their customers' financial data with the social-media giant.
Facebook has reportedly asked a number of USA banks to share their customers' personal financial information, as the social media giant strives to recapture major losses in user engagement following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Facebook said some users opted in to accessing some financial information in its Messenger app.
They haven't been entirely successful, the Journal added, with at least one bank (JPMorgan) declining due to privacy concerns. "We also don't have special relationships, partnerships, or contracts with banks or credit card companies to use their customers' purchase data for ads". Earlier this year, Facebook executives were forced to apologize after the personal data of as many as 87 million people ended up in the hands of a United Kingdom political consultancy.
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.
"We haven't shared any customer information or data to Facebook or any other technology platform", said Dana Ripley, chief communications officer at US Bancorp, in an email statement. The WSJ reports that Facebook made inquiries to JPMorgan Chase & Co. But a company representative said several unnamed banks and credit-card companies have voiced interest in teaming up with the social network, even proposing their own potential deals.
It's not clear if Facebook's attempts to obtain user financial data will be successful or not, but we'll likely find out in the coming months.
"Maintaining the privacy of customer data is of paramount importance to Wells Fargo".
In brief: Facebook doesn't exactly have the best track record when it comes to data privacy, but the company isn't letting its troubled past deter it from pursuing new data sharing partnerships. 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.
A spokeswoman for Citigroup said the company recognizes its customers are increasingly spending more time on social media and it wants to be where consumers are.