Facebook has asked major U.S. banks to give up detailed financial information about their customers, including card transactions and checking account balances, because the social media giant wants to offer its users new services.
Seeking to also be a place where people buy and sell goods, Facebook wants to be more than just a social media giant.
Facebook has been in discussions with Chase, JPMorgan, Citibank, US Bancorp, and Wells Fargo over the past year to see what those major banks could offer to users through the Facebook Messenger app.
Facebook was also seeking information including bank card transactions, checking account balances, and where purchases were made.
One of the ideas discussed was allowing people to check their checking account balances. Of course, this brought up data privacy concerns for Facebook users.
Facebook currently faces investigations over its ties to political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, which accessed data on as many 87 million Facebook users without their consent.
Messenger claims to have 1.3 billion users, and the social media giant wants to make the app an even bigger part of people’s lives by connecting it to their banks.
Facebook spokeswoman Elisabeth Diana said,
“The idea is that messaging with a bank can be better than waiting on hold over the phone – and it’s completely opt-in.”
The company spokesperson said Facebook will not use information for targeted ads.
“We don’t use purchase data from banks or credit card companies for ads. We also don’t have special relationships, partnerships, or contracts with banks or credit card companies to use their customers’ purchase data for ads.”
Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase both stated they do not share their customer’s data.
“While we regularly have conversations about potential partnerships, safeguarding the security and privacy of our customers’ data and providing customer choice are paramount in everything we do,” Citigroup told AFP by email.
According to The Wall Street Journal, a JPMorgan Chase statement said, “We don’t share our customers’ off-platform transaction data with these platforms and have had to say ‘No’ to some things as a result.”
Should banks be allowed to share your financial information with Facebook?