According to The Wall Street Journal, Google will begin offering checking accounts within its Google Pay app. Codenamed project “Cache,” the offer could launch as soon as next year, and is slated to be provided in partnership with Citigroup and a small Stanford University credit union.
Google has underlined that accounts will be branded by the aforementioned entities to maintain financial backend and regulatory compliance. According to a statement, Google executive Caesar Sengupta told the WSJ, the initiative is intended to “help more people do more stuff in a digital way online,” and may offer a loyalty card program down the road.
It’s worth considering Google’s claims that it won’t sell financial data to advertisers and that Google Pay data isn’t meant for advertisement data. The WSJ also notes that the checking accounts will hold extremely valuable data about any given consumers’ spending and earning information, and Google — like so many other tech companies — has suffered various data breaches in the past.
A focus on money services seems to be the logical next step for tech giants. Recently, Apple launched its Apple Card alongside partner Goldman Sachs, and Facebook announced its Libra cryptocurrency. Notably, both have created big issues for the respective companies; Apple’s credit card is currently being investigated for discrimination against women, while several backers of Libra have dropped out of the initiative following crackdowns from regulators.