Social media giant Facebook is taking the first steps into the financial sector with Banking 2.0; allowing users to deal with their direct debits, while dishing out ‘likes’.
It is suggested that by the end of 2012, users in Australia will have access to a Facebook application called Kaching. The app, from Australia’s commonwealth bank, is a payments service which will allow users to carry out the majority of their banking without ever leaving Facebook.
Kaching by CBA has already launched for iPhone at the end of last year and allows payments to people via their Facebook page. The forthcoming website application represents the first time a major international bank will allow their customers to carry out core banking activities through a social network.
This is significant since other major banks are likely to follow suit, especially if the process proves successful. But by being first in line CBA have laid down a marker and could succeed in securing a raft of new, young, internet savvy, customers, or those which might shy away from visiting a traditional bank branch.
The app will allow Facebook users to view their various bank and credit cards from within the social media site, see what they owe, what credit they have, view historical payments and make new ones. They can carry out each of these functions without ever leaving Facebook.
Andy Lark, Chief Marketing Officer for CBA said: "The utility of this is enormous...and you don’t have to leave Facebook to do it. This is a new way of managing your money."
Managing Director of HitSearch, Andrew Redfern, claims that many within the industry view this as the natural next step in banking. He said: "We expected that the banking industry would look to capitalise on the popularity of social media, and a generation of much more internet savvy bank users. Should the application prove successful, expect many other large banks to follow suit".