Facebook Sets Its Sights on Financial Services, Starting With Europe
According to a report from Financial Times, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has been quietly working on a new scheme in which it will provide financial services like remittances and electronic money. The social media giant will begin offering the services in Europe, where it is just weeks away from obtaining regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Ireland for the new service, which would allow Facebook users to pay and exchange money with others.
The service would work throughout Europe, rather than just Ireland, under an agreement referred to as “passporting,” in which digital payments are allowed across EU member states without having to gain regulatory approval from each one.
The company has also looked into partnering with several U.K.-based startups to offer international money transfers, including TransferWise, Moni Technologies, and Azimo, according to Financial Times.
The move towards e-money isn’t a huge step for Facebook: The company already has permission for some types of money transfer, such as payment within certain apps like the popular Candy Crush Saga and Farmville games. Facebook take a 30 percent cut of payments from those apps, in exchange for hosting them on its site, and the company has generated more than $2 billion from those transactions in 2013 alone, according to The Guardian.