Facebook is asking more financial institutions to join Messenger

Key Points
  • Facebook is talking to banks to get them to join their Messenger platform and share user information with them to facilitate some services.
  • A report from the Wall Street Journal said the company was talking to financial organizations to get user information like credit card transactions and account balances.
  • It comes at a sensitive time for Facebook, as it battles privacy concerns and adjusts its policy regarding user data.
Facebook in talks with banks to develop partnerships

Facebook is asking more banks to join Messenger and bring their users' financial information along with them.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday Facebook was asking banks for users' financial information, like credit card transactions and checking account balances. The data would be used for Messenger features including account balance updates and fraud alerts, but not for Facebook's other platforms. The news comes at a sensitive time for Facebook as it battles privacy concerns and adjusts its policy regarding user data.

Facebook does currently have access to financial data from some companies in order to facilitate services like customer service chats and account management. Users give Facebook permission to access their information, the company added.

"Account linking enables people to receive real-time updates in Facebook Messenger where people can keep track of their transaction data like account balances, receipts, and shipping updates," the statement 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. We're not using this information beyond enabling these types of experiences – not for advertising or anything else. A critical part of these partnerships is keeping people's information safe and secure."

The company is actively looking to get more banks and financial institutions to use Messenger. Incorporating a user's financial information into Messenger would allow banks to offer customer service through the platform, as some credit card companies already do, Facebook said.

Update: The story was updated to clarify what Facebook currently does with financial information.

—CNBC's Julia Boorstin contributed to this report.

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