The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that online social media giant, Facebook, is in talks with several major banks to add a user's financial information to its Messenger app to help people check balances, and card transactions.
Facebook admitted Monday that they were considering a new feature in Messenger that would pair a user's bank information with the messaging app, but the social media company denied that they would be using a person's financial transaction data for advertising.
The feature, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, would only be made available on the Messenger app, and would not connect with the larger Facebook environment.
News of the new feature comes as the social media company battles consumer's concerns over their privacy on the platform, and how the company uses their customers' data.
"A recent Wall Street Journal story implies incorrectly that we are actively asking financial services companies for financial transaction data – this is not true," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.
"Like many online companies with commerce businesses, we partner with banks and credit card companies to offer services like customer chat or account management," the statement said. "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 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."
Facebook says allowing users to incorporate their financial information into Messenger would allow banks to offer customers help through the platform, like some credit card companies already do, Facebook says.
The report also says the financial feature could also offer consumers alerts if fraudulent activity is detected on their account, as well as help users track account balances.
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