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What Facebook’s Interest in Financial Services Could Mean For Debt Collectors

Would Facebook users use the site to pay off their debts? The notion may not be far off from becoming a reality, if you do some easy extrapolation from a published report.

The report in question details how Facebook is trying to work with banks to get information about users’ financial information, so that the users could use Facebook messenger to obtain balances on their accounts or to receive fraud alerts from the financial institutions. And while the banks appear to be somewhat reluctant for now, largely due to their own self-interest, it is not hard to see how Facebook could also include the ability to make loan payments through the platform as well. And what is a loan payment but making a payment on a debt?

At least one bank — JPMorgan — has declined the overtures from Facebook because of privacy concerns. A number of banks, however, have joined together and launched Zelle, an online payments platform, and their lack of interest in a partnership with Facebook could be tied to their desire not to do anything that cannibalizes their new venture.

Facebook’s interest in the partnership is to dispel rumors that it has achieved all it can and has maxed out on user growth. As well, the social network is still trying to rebuild its image following a scandal last year where it was revealed that the information of 87 million Facebook users was shared with a data analytics company called Cambridge Analytica.

The services that Facebook is looking to offer can already be easily handled via text messaging and apps from the financial institutions themselves, so it’s not likely that a partnership is on the horizon, yet. But Facebook is clearly looking out onto the horizon for what it can conquer next. And the ARM industry should be ready for that. And the ARM industry should be doing its own horizon-gazing as well.

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