According to a report by the Financial Times, Facebook are planning on launching new financial services for European users in the “next few weeks”.
In a move to turn itself into an ‘e-money’ institution, Facebook are planning on allowing users to store money on the site and then use it to pay and exchange with other users.
The company is currently obtaining regulatory approval from authorities in Ireland, which will allow Facebook to offer electronic financial services, including remittances. It is keen to allow users to transfer e-money via the network using a process called ‘passporting’. They have already held talks with three London start-ups that provide international money transfer services online and via smartphones. These include TransferWise, Moni Technologies and Azimo.
Facebook have previously experimented with e-commerce through the development of Facebook Credits, which could be used to pay for virtual goods on the platform, but it failed to gain traction with users and was phased out in 2012, allowing users to use their own currencies again. We will be watching for further developments with interest.