Earlier this year, Apple announced the Apple Card, the first credit card issued by the tech giant. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Google is also going to get in on the finance industry by offering a Google checking account at some point next year.
The checking account would be offered by Citigroup, which is one of the largest banking groups in the United States. Google would also involve a much smaller bank, the Stanford Federal Credit Union, which is a popular banking destination for Googlers living and working in the Palo Alto area.
The Google checking account wouldn’t actually be run by Google. Instead, Google would just act like a middleman by offering banking services to consumers in the usual Google way.
The project is currently operating under the codename Cache, according to The WSJ. Ultimately, Google would leave the nitty-gritty details of banking to the partner banks, which will likely expand either before or after the product actually launches. After all, Google’s in the business of data, not banking, so its true interest is compiling all that financial data that a Google checking account would show, including how much money a person makes, what their spending habits are, what bills they pay, etc.
However, Google did commit to not selling that data to advertisers. Currently, Google does not sell the data it collects from its mobile payment solution Google Pay, and this Google checking system would likely be integrated into that platform. But just because Google isn’t selling the data doesn’t mean it isn’t collecting and examining it.
It will be up to consumers to decide whether or not they want Google peeping into their financial lives, but it will also be up to financial regulatory bodies to determine whether Google entering the banking industry is a good idea. Government regulators are already looking into Big Tech firms such as Google, Apple, and Facebook, to see if they have too much power.
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