Facebook wants to "deepen user engagement" with Messenger, and to that end, it's been pitching America's giant banks on joint enterprises where Facebook will get to see all your financial info (especially info on where you're shopping and what you're buying) to help it suck you into using Messenger for longer.
In return, Facebook offered to let the banks do business through its platform, allowing Facebook users to transact business and manage their finance through Facebook Messenger.
However, it promised the banks that the financial data they turned over wouldn't be shared with third parties.
The news that Facebook might be able to access all this financial data resulted in a massive share-price surge, with shares up 3.5%, recovering much of the ground lost during Facebook's share-price bloodbath last month.
Facebook has told banks that the additional customer information could be used to offer services that might entice users to spend more time on Messenger, a person familiar with the discussions said. The company is trying to deepen user engagement: Investors shaved more than $120 billion from its market value in one day last month after it said its growth is starting to slow.
Facebook said it wouldn't use the bank data for ad-targeting purposes or share it with third parties.
"We don't use purchase data from banks or credit card companies for ads," said spokeswoman Elisabeth Diana. "We also don't have special relationships, partnerships, or contracts with banks or credit-card companies to use their customers' purchase data for ads."
Facebook to Banks: Give Us Your Data, We'll Give You Our Users [Emily Glazer, Deepa Seetharaman and AnnaMaria Andriotis/WSJ]