Facebook has hit back at criticism it received for allegedly asking banks for financial information on its users.
The backlash followed a report which claimed that Facebook had been in contact with several major US banks in order to gain financial data on its users.
However the social network has clarified that its aims were in fact more to do with improving the chatbot services ingrained in its Facebook Messenger app.
Facebook Messenger chatbots
Facebook already works with several financial institutions around the world to allow customers to access information on their account, such as allowing Citibank users in Singapore to bypass customer service calls by using a Messenger chatbot.
The app also allows Messenger users to send money to their contacts through a chat window, with payments processed using PayPal.
“The idea is that messaging with a bank can be better than waiting on hold over the phone – and it’s completely opt-in,” Facebook spokesperson Elisabeth Diana told TechCrunch.
“We’re not using this information beyond enabling these types of experiences – not for advertising or anything else. A critical part of these partnerships is keeping people’s information safe and secure.”