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Facebook Reportedly Interested in Financial Services Through TransferWise

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April 17, 2014

Facebook Reportedly Interested in Financial Services Through TransferWise

By Matt Paulson
TMCnet Contributing Writer

Rumors abound that Facebook (News - Alert) is looking for a good way to allow users to transfer funds from one user to another, which could have far-reaching consequences like disrupting banks and legacy players like Western Union (News - Alert). This potential pursuit could be a far more realistic pursuit than previously expected, as it would prompt financial services to be more transparent with their money management. The European peer-to-peer money transfer startup called TransferWise is one of the companies that Facebook supposedly talked with concerning the implementation of a money transfer service, and that company has proved their usefulness by reporting that they have processed over $1.6 billion total.

While these figures do not include actual revenue made by the company, it is a good baseline by which the popularity of the service can be measured. Money transfer services with other companies are also becoming more popular, and last month the similar Dublin-based company CurrencyFair had reached the billion-dollar mark in transferred money. Smaller groups like Azimo from the UK and WorldRemit are also vying for a foothold in the growing market.

There is still no official statement from Facebook that they are willing to purchase the company, and TransferWise Executive Chairman and co-founder Taavet Hinrikus has refused to speculate on whether or not the social media giant would be making such a purchase. However, he did note that “If someone as big as Facebook comes into the space, then I think that's only going to be beneficial to everyone.”

Hinrikus continues, stressing the point that TransferWise has no plans of slowing down their operations. “If I look at the world right now ... money transfer is such a humongous market. Even though we have transferred a billion pounds so far, we're just touching the beginning of it,” he says, implying that the company still has a lot of work to do before they even consider selling to Facebook. “We're focused on building and growing and we're having a ton of fun every day.”

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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