Facebook has invaded many facets of our lives, and now it’s reportedly looking to provide financial services.
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The social media site is preparing to provide financial services in the form of remittances and electronic money, according to the Financial Times. The report states Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is weeks away from getting regulatory approval in Ireland that would allow members to store cash on the website and use it to “pay and exchange” with others, citing people close to the matter.
A Facebook spokesperson told FOXBusiness.com that the company is “declining to comment on rumors and speculation.”
The Financial Times reports that the move would authorize Facebook to become an “e-money” institution that would allow it to issue units of store monetary value. The money would be valid throughout Europe, also known as “passporting.”
The move may seem counterintuitive in the U.S. market, says TechnoBuffalo.com President Jon Rettinger, but makes sense in emerging markets.
“A large amount of Ireland natives don’t have bank accounts, so if you have to transfer money, Facebook already has your information. Most people have a Facebook account, so this takes the hassle out if it.”
Personal finance adviser John O’Meara expects Facebook users to be open to the move. “Long-term, the move with currencies and banking is onto mobile,” he says. “People have phones on them all the time, and it’s just more available.”
The service could eventually come to the U.S., Rettinger says, but it will likely take time.
“They have to iron out the bugs and figure out what works and doesn’t work,” he says. “They could move into micro-transactions in the U.S., but right now if you look at where and why they are doing this, it makes sense.”