In Money Transfer Push, Facebook Finds Plenty of Friends (May 12, 2014)
Facebook has already conquered the social media sphere—and now there are signs the company is seeking to capitalize on its global ubiquity and massive user base to make a splash as a money transfer service, recently partnering with financial service providers on transfer initiatives around the globe.
Last week, Spain’s CaixaBank launched a Facebook app that enables the bank’s customers to send money via the social network, marking the first time a European bank has adapted its platform specifically for Facebook, according to CaixaBank. That news was followed by the announcement this week by Singapore’s OCBC Bank, which unveiled plans to add a money transfer feature to its own app, enabling P2P payments via Facebook, email or mobile phone number. Earlier this year, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) debuted a Facebook-based money transfer service of its own. And it’s not just banks; in late April, social networking payments platform PicomoPay struck a deal to enable U.S. Facebook users to send money transfers to more than 336,00 MoneyGram locations worldwide.
While Facebook seems to have no dearth of willing FI partners, the network also is positioning itself to provide standalone money transfer over its platform. The company reportedly is close to securing an e-money license in Ireland, its base of European operations, and has been working since last year on a Europe-wide money transfer service. Facebook already has obtained money services business (MSB) licenses in 48 states in the U.S., where its transfer activities largely are limited to processing in-app payments for developers—at least for now.
But even with the partnerships and licensing falling into place, Facebook still faces lingering user uncertainty about conducting financial transactions over social media, which the company will need to overcome before it can become a major player in money transfer.
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