Facebook reportedly preparing to launch its own e-money service

Social media giant Facebook is setting its sights on getting into the financial services sector, according to various reports. Mark Zuckerberg’s site has applied to Irish authorities, close to Facebook’s European headquarters are in Dublin, asking for a licence that would allow it to provide financial services, to its European users, such as remittances and electronic money. 

Facebook wants to be more than a social network — it is planning to facilitate financial services in the form of electronic money and remittances, the Financial Times reports (as spotted first by Benedict Evans). The report cites sources as saying that Facebook is weeks away from getting regulatory approval in Ireland for a service that lets users store money on Facebook and use it to pay others — what’s known as “e-money”. This means that Facebook will be able to issue units of stored monetary value that represent a claim against the company, and the e-money can be used throughout Europe in a process known as “passporting”.

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