Aussies to benefit from 'Facebook banking'

Aussies could be managing their bank accounts over Facebook in the near future after one of the country's banks revealed its intention to let customers access their finances using the social network.

Commonwealth Bank is developing a Facebook app that will enable people to check their balance when they have finished reading status updates from their friends, Computerworld reports.

Executive general manager of card payments and retail strategy at the firm David Lindberg acknowledged that the service will not appeal to all.

"We know that there is a segment of customers who are very comfortable with using Facebook for a number of private things," he remarked, adding that there are some "who just do not want their financial information sitting on Facebook".

Mr Lindberg said the app – which is currently being beta tested ahead of being rolled out before the year is over – will make use of the bank's NetCode SMS two-factor authentication system for security.

He has moved to reassure those who may be worried about the security of sending and receiving cash on a website traditionally used for nothing more than exchanging messages or sharing holiday snaps.

The application will not be rolled out "until we have a 100 per cent Facebook security guarantee which is as ironclad as what we have today", he remarked.

More and more customers are moving away from traditional banking methods and embracing new technology to send money and pay bills over the web and on their mobile phone.

Data from IMS Research suggests a cashless society could be with us in the near future, as 3.5 billion smart payments and cards are forecast to be in use globally by 2017.

Chief marketing officer at Commonwealth Bank Andy Lark said the firm is dedicated to "building products which are more relevant to different sectors of the market".

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