America’s favourite social network could soon double as an online bank.
Australia’s Commonweatlth Bank is reportedly building a Facebook app that will allow customers to make payments to third parties and Facebook friends through the network, reports CNN. The bank will secure transactions using its own authentication system, similar to how it secures payments on its site and mobile app, a spokesperson says.
Facebook has yet to publicly comment on the plan, but it’s fair to assume that if the social network is working with one bank, it wants others to follow suit. So what would this mean for you, the consumer? Here’s a quick list of pros and cons:
A one-stop shop for all your banking needs—why drive to the bank when you can simply log on?
More deals: You already hear about deals through Facebook friends and businesses, but who’s to say banks wouldn’t partner with other services to offer their own?
For those who haven’t caught on to traditional bank alternatives like credit unions, Facebook’s banking integration could offer some attractive options for the little guy. We’re hoping cool online startups like Simple get on board.
Spam messages could prompt people to send money to scammers. For boomers in particular, this is concerning as they’re prime targets for fraud.
Poor customer service, or none at all. Not only will it be hard (and time-consuming) to get ahold of a real person when something goes awry, big banks—who we’re assuming Facebook is eyeing—consistently score lower than credit unions in terms of customer satisfaction.
There’s no telling who will be privy to your banking information once it’s on Facebook. Though the site assures users it puts privacy first, that hasn’t stopped critics from calling out its confusing settings or the way it shares users’ information with third parties.