Gone are the days when you could think of Facebook as just an online service that lets you keep in touch with friends and family. It still lets you do that to this day, but the company itself has tested a variety of new services ever since it went public. It acquired cross-platform messaging behemoth WhatsApp, plans to spread the internet using drones and even released an Android launcher. It seems the next avenue in Facebook’s sights is financial services. The company is reportedly developing an e-money services and is close to getting approval in Ireland.
If the rumored service goes live it will allow users to store money online and use it to pay merchants or transfer funds within their network. The regulatory approval from Ireland would apparently allow it to operate in Europe. It is believed that Facebook’s ultimate aim would be expanding this service in emerging markets.
The social network has reportedly held talks with several startups that offer international money transfer services online as well as through mobile. It is not known right now how these partnerships, if forged, would factor into Facebook’s e-money service. Facebook has denied to comment on this report.
There is already a lengthy debate about Facebook’s privacy and data security policies. When money is brought into the equation, one can only expect the debate to heat up. But that has never deterred Zuckerberg and Co. from experimenting with new ideas and services.