Facebook Approaches Banks for a New Generation of ‘Transaction Marketing’

Facebook’s reach out to banks and credit card companies for customer bank balance, transaction data and fraud alerts, per today’s Wall Street Journal, signals a second, more cautious run at “transaction marketing.”

The WSJ article details an effort by Facebook to support Messenger via customer data, making it feel safer to use the messaging service to buy goods and browse retail catalogs. The article suggests that several of the contacted banks and credit card companies have been leery to help out, given their own desire to ensure customer privacy. But they also continue to have a strategic objective, possibly waning, to “own” customers for ecommerce efforts.

Indeed, several institutions may be tempted to test it out –if only to keep up with PayPal, Square and others that can introduce similar capabilities.

For Facebook, it is a limited revival of earlier transaction marketing and payment initiatives. In 2014, the company – along with Google, Amazon, Apple and Samsung – was poised to provide more aggressive services that would possibly make them central players in transactions via targeted ad and promotion serving, mobile pay and messaging.

For these players, it didn’t seem a big reach. Facebook, for one, has been taking payments and converting currencies for millions of SMB advertisers. As Facebook noted in 2014, it was already facilitating one million transactions a day. It also was experimenting with “Buy Buttons” with some SMBs.

While Facebook rules out using such data for targeting ads, other pieces of the vision continue to evolve. Facebook and others have also been encouraging consumers to add credit card data. They have also collected reams of user behavior info.

The Facebook play for transaction marketing runs adjacent to a related move two weeks ago to use payment information and mobile pay capabilities to support dining promotions via GrubHub’s $390 Million acquisition of LevelUp.