Google launching current accounts

14 Nov 2019

Big Tech Banking: Google Set to Launch New Current Accounts

Google is planning to join other big-name tech brands in the financial services arena, by launching “smart checking” current accounts to its customers.

The tech giant is in talks with US banks and credit unions, ahead of the planned launch of the new service through the existing Google Pay platform. In an email statement, a spokesperson said:

“We’re exploring how we can partner with banks and credit unions in the US to offer smart checking accounts through Google Pay, helping customers benefit from useful insights and budgeting tools.”

The accounts are expected to use Google’s analytics tools, to help customers keep track of their money. The firm and its partners, which are rumoured to include Citigroup, insist that the protection of user data is a priority.

Google and their partners plan to make the service available as early as next year. It said:

“We believe our partners’ regulatory and financial know-how is a great complement to our experience in building helpful tools and technology for our users.”

This won’t be the first big name in tech to branch out into finance; Google are preceded by peers who have already launched financial products, including Facebook, Uber, Amazon and, potentially their biggest competitor, Apple.

Amazon offers credit cards and business loans, while Facebook is focusing on its digital currency, Libra. Apple’s existing Apple Pay and Apple Wallet offerings were recently joined by a brand-new credit card, which has come under fire for its use of “sexist” algorithms.

Google also has its own ‘Wallet’, which was boosted by the introduction of Google Pay that, like Apple Pay, lets users make online and in-store payments with just their smartphone.

Whilst the idea of disruption to traditional banking is welcomed by some, officials are concerned about gaps in financial oversight as a result of an increased activity outside of conventional models.

By Melissa Jones