Google to offer checking accounts, says report


Google is partnering with Citigroup and a small Stanford university credit union to offer checking accounts within its Google Pay app, according to a new report published in The Wall Street Journal.

The tech giant’s latest project, code-named “Cache”, could launch as soon as next year.

A person familiar with the matter told the WSJ that Google doesn’t plan to use its own name in the branding of the checking accounts, but rather brand the checking accounts with the names of the financial institutions it has teamed up with.

These institutions (Citigroup and Stanford Federal Credit Union) will also be responsible for handling the financial backend and regulatory compliance.

“We’re exploring how we can partner with banks and credit unions in the US to offer smart checking accounts through Google Pay, helping their customers benefit from useful insights and budgeting tools, while keeping their money in an FDIC or NCUA-insured account,” a company spokesperson said.

Caesar Sengupta, an executive at Google, told the WSJ that Google does not plan on selling customers’ data.

“If we can help more people do more stuff in a digital way online, it’s good for the internet and good for us,” Sengupta said.

Sengupta did say that the service could offer other features on top, such as loyalty card program.

For Google’s partners in the project, the service is an opportunity to tap into a younger market that’s less likely to bank in the traditional sense.

Big tech’s interest in financial services

Big tech companies have recently started pushing for ways to enter the financial services sector, deepening their relationship with consumers.

Earlier this year, Apple launched a credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs – Apple decided to brand the credit card as an Apple product. While Facebook, working on a cryptocurrency called Libra, recently announced a new payments system called Facebook Pay.