Stop waiting, Google won’t be offering bank accounts from Citi or other partners, instead Google is focusing “primarily on delivering digital enablement for banks and other financial services providers rather than us serving as the provider of these services.” Properly executed this is likely a smart move!
Time will tell if Google can really open up its environment so that financial institutions can develop financial services using the secure environment associated with Google Pay, but if it does, then the Google platform will be able to deliver a user experience that offers low friction across all financial activity. For example, perhaps this will finally get banks to implement an authentication methodology that works for all banking channels, including card use when making a payment. Well, I can dream, can’t I?:
“Google is scrapping its plans to offer banking services directly to users.
The shift comes nearly two years after the company first announced its banking plans and several months after a key executive leading the project departed.
In 2020, Google said it would let users open a bank account through its Google Pay app, in a partnership with Citigroup and Stanford Federal Credit Union beginning in 2021. At the time, Google said it would offer a service called “Plex” checking and savings accounts that would have no monthly fees, overdraft charges or minimum balance requirements. Users would have also been able to request a physical debit card, which would have run on Mastercard’s network, the company told CNBC at the time.
The Wall Street Journal first reported news of the scrapped plans Friday, stating a series of reportedly missed deadlines along with the departure of the Google Pay executive overseeing the project caused it to begin to fold.
A Google spokesperson confirmed the report to CNBC but declined to comment on the executive’s departure effect.
“Our work with our partners has made it extremely clear that there’s consumer demand for simple, seamless and secure digital payments for online and in-store transactions,” the Google spokesperson told CNBC in an email. “We’re updating our approach to focus primarily on delivering digital enablement for banks and other financial services providers rather than us serving as the provider of these services.”
Google’s cloud unit has also made financial services one of its main customer focus areas.
While banks have expressed fear that tech giants will seek to invade consumer finance as they have done with other industries like media and advertising, so far the threat has barely materialized.”
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group