Facebook in talks with banks to expand customer service

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In an effort to better protect user data, the company earlier in March said it ended "Partner Categories", which let advertisers use information from third-party data providers such as Experian and Oracle Data Cloud.

In a statement reported by CNBC, a Facebook spokesperson clarified that the company is not "actively asking financial services companies for financial transaction data".

Shares of Facebook surged almost 3% following the report.

According to Gebhart, more user information centralized on one single platform also makes information more "vulnerable to unauthorized sharing or leaking" and can make "users easier to manipulate".

Trying to come up with clever ways to target their users with financial services, the California-based company asked JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and US Bancorp to share personal details of their customers in recent months, sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Monday.

Facebook acknowledged last month that it was facing multiple inquiries from United States and British regulators about a scandal involving the now bankrupt British consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

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A U.S. Bank spokesman said the bank "has not shared any customer data or information with Facebook or any other platforms".

In response to the Journal's reporting, critics of corporate power used the word "dystopian" to describe the push by Facebook, Google, and Amazon for ever-greater access to users' personal information in a bid to boost profits. Facebook tried to persuade banks to give it their users' data by promising them features such as users being able to see their checking account balances or receiving fraud alerts within Facebook Messenger. "We're not using this information beyond enabling these types of experiences - not for advertising or anything else". But they told PCMag they're quite aware of the privacy concerns, and wouldn't want to jeopardize the security of customers' financial data.

But with ever-increasing privacy concerns about Facebook, any talk of links to financial data on a wider scale is going to cause unsurprising ripples of discontent - ripples Facebook will be eager to calm.

"Facebook already has mountains of information about our social networks, physical movements, and activity online".

A spokeswoman for Citigroup said the company recognizes its customers are increasingly spending more time on social media and it wants to be where consumers are.