If you have a vested interested in online payments, either as an ecommerce trader or a financial services provider, a quick skim through techcrunch's article on Facebook's European payment licences is well worth your time.
Facebook Payments is already operating in the United States and all the indications are that Europe is likely to follow now that Facebook has licences for e-money and payment services out of Ireland.
Whilst Facebook's exact intentions aren't yet clear, author Christoffer O. Hernaes rightly points out that Facebook as a licensed payment service company would be a force to be reckoned with.
"Facebook is already in a unique position to disintermediate retail banks as the most powerful digital ecosystem out there for consumers. The key to Facebook’s powerful position is the ability to evolve alongside changing user behavior... What makes Facebook one of the most potent digital ecosystems is that it is based on managing the digital identity of every user in its user base, and, if done right, Facebook has the potential to render phone numbers, email addresses and bank account numbers obsolete. "Eventually this could make banks as we know them invisible commodity providers, where all customer interaction... is conducted through digital ecosystems like Facebook Payments and Facebook Messenger. According to a study... 68 percent of bankers are concerned with losing control over their customer interface. A regulatory compliant Facebook should definitely make those concerns turn into worries."