Ever wondered if Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) would become a banking platform? One of the World's largest banks, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), is planning to offer banking transactions through Facebook. Though Citi won't be the first such bank, because Indian banking giant, ICICI Bank Limited (NYSE:IBN) has already started Facebook banking.
Citibank posted a message on Facebook and Twitter Saturday night, designed to gauge the public mood. "If you could do your banking on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) - Would you?" Citigroup asked its fans and followers. Within minutes, the question generated mixed response from public - some said "yes", many others gave a straight "no", while a large number of people raised questions over safety and privacy issues. However, the bank was non-committal on whether it would really offer banking services through Facebook.
Citi has pioneered a number of smart banking offerings, including ATMs, but it seems to have lost the race to ICICI Bank in offering Facebook banking.
ICICI Bank launched its Facebook banking application, "ICICI Bank App", in the first quarter of this year. The customers can carry out a number of operations, such as checkbook inquiry, receiving account statements, upgrading debit and credit cards, and checking account details.
The Indian banking major claims that its banking app is completely secure. It has a two-step authentication process, a secure SSL connection, and the banking activities are never published on the customers Facebook Wall. "There is no charge for this application. ICICI Facebook banking application is totally secured. All communication between the app and ICICI server is encrypted. No data is stored on Facebook. All communication is secured and encrypted," the bank says.
ICICI Bank even claims on its Facebook page, that even if your Facebook account is hacked, your banking data will be completely safe because it doesn't store data on Facebook.