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Facebook is preparing a push into financial services, according to a report, with tools for members to store and send money online.
The company is close to obtaining approval from the Central Bank of Ireland to start a service that would allow users to store money on Facebook and use it to pay and exchange with others.
Allowing members to send remittances via Facebook accounts could strengthen the social network in emerging markets. Facebook would be taking on wire transfer services such as Western Union, existing electronic money providers such as PayPal and a new breed of mobile phone-based payment services.
Global mobile transactions are expected to grow at an average 35 percent per year between 2012 and 2017, according to a report by research firm Gartner.