Facebook asks big banks to share customer details

Randal Sanchez
August 7, 2018

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook has been courting banks to enter into data-sharing agreements. "We're not using this information beyond enabling these types of experiences - not for advertising or anything else".

Citigroup spokeswoman Elizabeth Fogarty said while the bank regularly has "conversations about potential partnerships, safeguarding the security and privacy of our customers' data and providing customer choice are paramount in everything we do".

The social media giant has reportedly had talks with JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and US Bancorp to discuss proposed features including fraud alerts and checking account balances via Messenger.

Over the past year, Facebook has reached out to some of America's largest banks to request "detailed financial information about their customers, including card transactions and checking account balances, as part of an effort to offer new services to users", the Journal notes.

The statement follows a story in the Wall Street Journal that said the social media giant had asked USA banks for such data.

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FBN's Stuart Varney, Ashley Webster and Liz MacDonald on reports Facebook is asking banks for financial information about their customers.

Wells Fargo declined to comment. Facebook has pulled in $11.8 billion in advertising revenue in the USA and Canada so far in 2018.

But word Facebook is fishing for financial information comes amid concerns it has not vigilantly guarded private information. For now at least, users have to opt-in to link it to their bank account - a partnership with banks might link users directly to their banks (no word on whether Messenger users would need to opt-in to the service). And those on Facebook have become more comfortable using their credit cards in the news feed because of a product that enables people to ask their friends to donate to charitable causes.

A JPMorgan spokesperson told the publication that it wouldn't be "sharing our customers' off-platform transaction data with these platforms, and have had to say no to some things as a result". Like many online companies with commerce businesses, we partner with banks and credit card companies to offer services like customer chat or account management.

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