In partnership with Citigroup and the Stanford Federal Credit Union, Google plans launching a checking account linked to Google Pay. The project codenamed Cache, announced at the end of 2019, is expected to launch this year, and Google is open to adding more banks to it in the future.
Why Is This Deal Important
Google’s latest move is seen as an expansion of its hold on customers and intention to accumulate data on their finances. At the same time, the banks are profiting from the tech giant’s ubiquity, agility, entrepreneurial culture, and new technologies.
While Citibank is allowing Google access to its global network of more than a hundred million clients, it is benefiting from Google’s users as well. A key target for Citibank are younger consumers, and studies have shown that they have the most affinity for opening an account affiliated in some way with players like Amazon or Google.
The partnership is also seen as a means to ward off the biggest threat fintechs pose to the financial industry, of becoming like Alipay and WeChat in China, where money flows through digital systems without the need for banks at all.
What Kind of Innovation to Expect
Some have suggested that with Cache, Google could offer different value-added services, like analytical tools to give consumers greater insights into their spending, or different loyalty program offerings.
What is certain is that Google’s new partnership with Citibank is a way to help people use banking technology in innovative ways, as consumers increasingly expect the same type of experience from banks as they get from companies like Google.
Read more about innovations in banking technology here.
Who Are the Competitors?
This partnership comes at the same time as an increased focus of big tech on consumer finance. Let’s take a look at some recent activities:
Will Regulators Get Involved?
And just as it happened with Facebook, the announcement of the Google-Citibank partnership quickly attracted the attention of lawmakers and regulators concerned about the potential privacy implications of the deal. Moreover, regulators and lawmakers might also look at the antitrust and anti-competitive aspects of this union.
Considering that Google operates the world’s largest advertising platform, built on the vast array of consumer data which allows advertisers to target potential customers with tremendous precision, all these concerns are understandable. However, Google said that it recognized financial information is more sensitive than other kinds of data, and that rigorous standards for privacy and security are certainly going to be upheld.
Read more on data privacy and customer protection here.
Select Google Statistics:
- com is the world’s most visited website.
- In one research, 41% of U.S. users said they couldn’t live without Google.
- 4 billion people regularly use Gmail,
- Google Play offers close to 57 million mobile apps to choose from.
- The worldwide gross app revenue of the Google Play store amounted to 7.1 billion U.S. dollars in the second quarter of 2019.
- As of May 2019, more than 500 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube every minute.
- Google Pay is expected to reach 100 million users in 2020.