Social networking site Facebook has the potential to wipe out the traditional banking industry by moving agressively into peer-to-peer lending, says Thomas Power, CEO of online business network ecademy.
With Facebook set to create a billion-strong social network by 2012, Power says the company has the potential to leverage its large user base and move into entirely new business territory.
"It starts with a Facebook piggy bank, payment system and credit card. Then it's a savings account and a loan perhaps for university. What about a mortgage, life insurance, health insurance, car insurance, house insurance and a pension?" asks Power.
Facebook is already looking to create its own currency with the launch of Facebook credits. But Power says the real opportunity may lie in the peer-to-peer lending model adopted by companies such as Zopa in the UK, and Prosper in the US.
"With a billion users and 10% choosing to bank with Facebook that's 100m customers," says Power. "Wouldn't that make Facebook one of the biggest retail banks in the world?"