Snapchat wants to manage your money

Future of Finance
Future of Finance

The social media service known for disappearing photos wants to manage your finances.

Snapchat is developing a service that would let users invest their money through the messaging app and have it managed by algorithms, according to a report from Reuters. The news service didn’t have any details on how it would work, but sources said such a service would provide access to exchange-traded funds.

With the new offering, Snapchat would be entering the increasingly crowded field of “robo-advising,” an industry with major players like Charles Schwab and Vanguard, as well as sizable startups such as Wealthfront and Betterment. Deloitte, an advisory firm, estimates automated investment platforms could manage $5-$7 trillion by 2020.

Reuters says Venmo, a money transfer service popular with millennials and owned by PayPal, is exploring robo-advising services as well.

A spokesperson for Venmo said, “We cannot comment on rumors and speculation due to corporate policy.”

Snapchat declined to comment.

Snapchat says it has 100 million monthly users, but its monetization strategy remains a work in progress. In Jan. 2015, the company launched a news section, called Discover, which serves advertisements alongside stories from publishers like the Wall Street Journal and ESPN. But some endeavors have already failed—it recently shuttered its “Lens Store,” where users purchased different filters for a few dollars.

This isn’t Snapchat’s first foray into financial services. In Nov. 2014, it started a money-transfer service with Square that lets users send money to each other within the app.

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