‘Facebook asks big banks to share customer details’


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 reached out to several major Wall Street banks for customer financial data including credit card transactions and checking account balances, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

However, concerns over data sharing and privacy have held up talks with at least one bank, sources told the Wall Street Journal. Facebook launched peer-to-peer payments in Messenger back in 2015 and has been adding payments options ever since, including integration with PayPal.

"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 social media company said it wouldn't use the bank data for ad-targeting purposes or share it with third parties.

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Though the identity of that bank is unknown, it's not a surprise that some of Facebook's potential partners would be a bit leery of the company's business practices. Spokeswoman Elisabeth Diana says: "We don't use purchase data from banks or credit card companies for ads". Examples of this include Bank of America and American Express, which you can text with over the chat service.

Does anyone want to give Facebook access to sensitive financial info in exchange for more alerts on their app? Wells Fargo is "not actively engaging in data-sharing conversations with Facebook", spokeswoman Hilary O'Byrne said in an emailed statement.

Facebook's pitch to the financial world comes months after it was found to have allowed the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to improperly access the data of 87 million people.

Citigroup acknowledged holding talks with Facebook but declined to comment on its willingness to share information about bank card transactions, checking account balances, and geolocation of purchases made by their customers. Last year, Wells Fargo said its chatbot on Messenger could enable customers to see how much they spent on certain items in a specific time period or find the location of the nearest ATM.

The investment company's spokesperson Trish Wexler said the firm had refused to share "our customers' off-platform transaction data with these platforms, and had to say no to some things as a result".