Facebook says it’s working with banks on bringing more services to its apps, partnerships that could integrate more personal financial data into the social network recently criticized by lawmakers for a callous approach to its users’ privacy.
The disclosures follow a report in “The Wall Street Journal” that Facebook is urging banks to offer information such as credit card transactions and checking account balances so the social giant can offer customer service options on its messaging platform, Messenger. The data would be used for potential features including fraud alerts and the ability to check balances within the app.
Facebook said it’s looking to get more banks and financial companies to offer services on its Messenger app, say by allowing a customer to message with his or her bank as an alternative to phone services, but it’s not actively asking for data related to financial transactions.
“Like many online companies with commerce businesses, we partner with banks and credit card companies to offer services like customer chat or account management,” Facebook 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.”
Facebook also said it is looking to get more banks and financial companies to offer services on Messenger.
The Journal also reported that concerns over data privacy have been a sticking point for banks in their conversations with the social networking giant.
Facebook’s discussions for banking data follow a challenging year for the social network in which the company admitted that information on 87 million users was obtained improperly by political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook’s public reputation has also been stung by the use of its platform by Russia to attempt to sway the 2016 presidential election, as well as the continued spread of misinformation.
Last week, Facebook suffered the worst one-day loss in Wall Street history, shedding $100 billion in market value.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.
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