What do you do when you have more than 1.3 billion users all connected on the same network? You let them put their money in it, that is what.
According to the Financial Times Facebook is in the process of obtaining licences in Ireland that will it allow it to provide users across Europe with an electronic money solution. That means users will be able to store, send and receive money using Facebook.
This would provide direct competition with the eBay owned Paypal, which has a virtual monopoly on the internet money transferring market. Providing some real competition for Paypal is something that Google tried, and failed, at doing with its Google Wallet services. While nearly everyone seems to enjoy Wallet’s interface, it has failed to catch on outside of Google Play.
Facebook however, has a much more active userbase. While Google Plus can boast some impressive user numbers, many of the users are only there because Google practically forced them to be, and aren’t very active. Facebook is still the most popular social network, for both end-users and businesses, and allowing users to easily transfer money amongst themselves and to businesses could do something even Paypal hasn’t quite done, bring electronic payments to the most mainstream of the mainstream.
While Facebook is working on financial regulation in Europe, the network allegedly has bigger plans for the developing world. According to the Financial Times, Facebook plans to bring the service to developing countries, possibly to those without easy access to traditional banks.
We will have more as it becomes available.
[Photo Credit: mkhmarketing]