There’s an unofficial race between the likes of Facebook and Amazon to get into customer banking and financial services. While I’ve written how I think Amazon has a far better chance of implementing this well, Facebook is desperate for more data and monetization opportunities.
With a Blockchain division Facebook may also try any number of things to use the token economy as a gateway for payments. Facebook is itself irrevocably behind the likes of Tencent and Alibaba who have made payment gateways huge opportunities for consumer satisfaction and retail fulfillment, including peer-to-peer payments for family transactions.
The distressing part of this report by the WSJ is that Facebook was telling banks: “Give Us Your Data, We’ll Give You Our Users”. This sort of trade off is all Facebook can do with bloated users and a total lack of useful features for the real world. Facebook has shown it’s unable to moderate itself or cut down dramatically on the misinformation that its channels spread, including Facebook and especially WhatsApp.
Would Facebook Bribe Banks: Users for Data?
The fact that Facebook has literally asked large U.S. banks to share detailed financial information about customers as it seeks to boost user engagement is another violation for consumers.
It’s hard to stomach what Facebook, Google and Amazon will do in their pursuit of data. Data is the blood money of the new AI-economy.
LinkedIn editors recently ran a much more moderate story about this news:
“Facebook wants to do your banking.”
Facebook wants to offer financial services to users — and is asking big U.S. banks to potentially share detailed financial information about their customers, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Citing anonymous sources, the newspaper said that at least one large bank has backed away from talks with the social media platform because of concerns stemming from its Cambridge Analytica data-sharing scandal. Facebook told the Journal it wouldn’t use person financial data for ad-targeting or share it with third parties.
While Amazon’s partnership for checking accounts with J.P. Morgan sounds real, Facebook’s tactics remain the stuff of Black Mirror episodes. As users are starting to slip in Europe and on a steep decline in North America, and as their stocks take a dive, Facebook is internally exploring online dating as well. It’s unclear however the exact path Facebook will take — as their bullish view of VR and micro video News has not quite panned out yet. If vanity metrics for Ads on Instagram show promise, it’s a diffuse ecosystem for Ads to actually convert consumers.
Facebook is about 5 Years Behind Tencent but is going after Banking
Facebook is looking into how to get banks to work closely with Facebook Messenger. According to Wired, changes in regulation mean the tech giants will soon be able to access customers’ bank account data, posing a challenge to the old-school banking system.
Considering Facebook’s track-record with data harvesting, a lack of regulation for 3rd parties and an abysmal privacy and consent mechanism, Facebook is hardly the good Samaritan you want knowing your financial data, is it?
Facebook hasn’t done anything for consumers lately; at least Amazon has the trust of consumers to deliver convenience, speed and innovation in this regard with E-commerce, Alexa and getting into the grocery space, among others.
Mark Zuckerberg is the last person on Earth I’d want to have access to my personal financial data. I hope Banks can respect that, since I’m probably not alone.