Facebook is apparently close to receiving approval from the Ireland officials to begin offering remittance and E-money transfers.
When it receives approval, Facebook will be authorized by the Central Bank of Ireland as an E-money institution, giving users the ability to store funds and place transfers to other users. As part of the approval process Facebook is obligated to “back” up the funds, resulting in Facebook to be seen as conventional financial institution such as a bank or card issuing firm.
Facebook requires a sum of capital holdings resulting in 350,000 Euros to receive approval. Something Facebook should not have an issue with after its purchase of Oculus for $2 billion and messaging app WhatsApp for a staggering $19 billion.
Facebook is reportedly in discussions with UK based mobile and online operators to support the future remittance feature such as UK based Azimo, TransferWise and Moni Technologiies. Facebook has already been in talks with Azimo and has been rumored to have offered $10 billion to recruit one of its founders to head business development.
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Facebook joins other internet giants like Google, Linkedin and Amazon, who have set up shop in Ireland due to its relatively easier-to-manage regulatory environment. For Facebook, Ireland is slowly becoming an “unofficial” international HQ, as it is with other companies.
Given Facebook’s 1.23 billion user base, if and when it receives approval would result in the firm becoming one of the largest money services in the world.
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