The FT is reporting that Facebook is looking at e-money services — including the ability for people to make peer-to-peer money transfers using money that is stored on Facebook itself — and has applied for an e-money license in Ireland as part of that. Facebook has declined to comment on the report, but we have confirmed with sources some of the details of what is going on.
Facebook made the rounds in London in December, and it spoke to several consumer-facing payments companies, including the three mentioned in the FT’s report: TransferWise, Moni Technologies and Azimo. But from the sounds of it there are others, as well.
“It was mainly about market discovery,” said Mike Laven, CEO of Currency Cloud, the London-based startup that powers payments at the back end for all three of these companies, as well as several of their competitors.
While Laven was clear to say it was “no secret” that Facebook was talking to a lot of companies in the financial services space, he believes that discussions of how such services would develop are still in flux.