It's well known Facebook loves slurping your data. The content-ad network knows more about you than any other company on earth. It then sells this data to marketers, hence its multi-billion dollar valuation.
But Facebook's data isn't perfect and it could always use more.
The missing piece? Payments.
If it could connect all the personal facts and connections it knows about you to what you buy it would present marketers with the perfect data set.
And that's exactly what the company announced Monday, when it confirmed a new peer-to-peer payment feature it will deploy in the U.S. over the next few months.
The money transfer service 'offers' to store a user's Visa or MasterCard information, which the company promises to store securely in its vast database. The company said in a statement
These payment systems are kept in a secured environment that is separate from other parts of the Facebook network and that receive additional monitoring and control. A team of anti-fraud specialists monitor for suspicious purchase activity to help keep accounts safe.
But the real value here isn't getting a cut of transactions. It's to insert itself between you and your credit card, so that it can track you more efficiently. Were it to collect all your spending information and pair with its location, life-stage and personal connections data, it would truly have a fearsome set of data. Which is exactly what big marketers want and will pay absolute top dollar for.