Facebook is pretty good at connecting people. Now it wants to connect their bank accounts, too.
A new report suggests Facebook is on the verge of releasing its own e-wallet, which would allow users to store and transmit money on the social network to pay other people. According to the Financial Times, Facebook is waiting for approval from the Central Bank of Ireland, and the service is said to be “weeks away.”
Facebook, of course, will face some stiff competition, including PayPal. Mobile payment system Venmo already uses Facebook to find friends.
But Google Wallet is still far from the e-payment revolution it was trumpeted to be. Can Facebook prosper where Google is reeling? Part of the challenge will be getting its users to trust it with their money. In a survey, “only 1% of respondents trusted social networks like Facebook to deliver mobile-payments,” Eden Zoller, an analyst at Ovum, told CNET, “in sharp contrast to the much higher levels of trust placed in banks (43%), credit card companies (13%), and mobile operators in the context of emerging markets (11% in China).”