Social network Facebook is reportedly looking into launching an e-money service that would enable users to make payments and transfer funds to others.
According to the Financial Times, the social network has applied for regulatory approval in Ireland - where Facebook's EMEA headquarters are located in Dublin - that would allow it to provide the service in Europe.
The company has also discussed the possibility of partnering with London start-ups that offer international money transfer services online and via mobile.
The move could be seen as a way for Facebook to expand its footprint in emerging markets, an area that Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg sees as key for the social network to continue to grow its user base and revenues.
"Facebook wants to become a utility in the developing world, and remittances are a gateway drug to financial inclusion," a source familiar with the company said.
The social network has been on the lookout for new ways of appeasing investors since its IPO, as it looks to monetise its services by developing new offerings.
Facebook would be competing against payment giant PayPal - which already has a mobile payment service in the UK – as well as wire transfer services, and the growing number of smartphone apps that enable consumers to pay for products or transfer money. Google has also been trying to gain a foothold in the mobile payments arena, and is already registered in the UK to issue electronic money.
Facebook is authorised in the US for some forms of money transfers, namely the ability to process payments for developers who charge users for in-app purchases.
In regards to the FT report, the social network said it did not comment on "rumour and speculation".