Monday, July 16, 2012

(BN) Citigroup Asks Facebook Users Whether They’d Like Social Banking

July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. began asking Facebook Inc. users a provocative question over the weekend. The third- biggest U.S. bank wants to know whether Web surfers would be willing to use the social-networking service to do banking.

"If you could do your banking on Facebook -- would you?" Citigroup asked from its company page, which has more than 300,000 "likes." The question went live on July 14 and has elicited more than 130 comments, many of them pointed.

Facebook, working to give users more reasons to stay logged on, lets other companies use its pages to offer an array of services, such as renting movies, playing games and tracking exercise sessions. ICICI Bank Ltd., an India-based financial institution, offers a "bank app" that lets customers check balances and get account statements. Commonwealth Bank of Australia announced plans this month to release a Facebook application that lets customers view balances and make payments.

Citigroup gave no indication whether it's considering social banking. Shannon Bell, a spokeswoman for the New York- based bank, and Malorie Lucich, a spokeswoman for Menlo Park, California-based Facebook, didn't immediately respond to a requests for comment.

Many respondents to Citigroup's question rejected the idea outright. Some people cited privacy and security concerns. The post had recently attracted 768 "likes."

Citigroup rose 1.1 percent to $26.95 at 11:35 a.m. New York time. Facebook slid 4 percent to $29.48.


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