Back in November, we heard a rumor that Google could launch its own branded checking accounts in 2020. Well, here we are in 2020 (what a ride it’s been so far!), and we have our first look at what this account might come with: a Google Pay card that will act as a debit card for your checking account.
The image of the card was obtained by TechCrunch, which got the picture from an anonymous source who was able to prove that it came directly from Google. In other words, leaks don’t get much more reliable than this, so expect this to be what is on the way. However, it’s still a rumor, so don’t take it to the bank just yet (pun intended).
Those of you old enough to remember will know that this won’t be the first time there’s been a Google Pay card — although the original was a Google Wallet card, which was the precursor to Google Pay. The Google Wallet card allowed you to pay for things at any credit card terminal, with the funds deducted from your Wallet balance or connected banking accounts.
The Wallet card didn’t last long, and Google’s confusing early moves in the fintech sphere didn’t help, with various systems such as Wallet, Android Pay, Google Pay Send, etc. all existing simultaneously at certain points.
From what TechCrunch reports, the Google Pay card and associated checking account wouldn’t be too different from the original Wallet card. The physical card would be connected to your account and you could use it for point-of-sale purchases by simply holding it up to a card reader and using the NFC chip inside. You could also use the chip-reader of a terminal if it doesn’t support NFC transactions.
The Google Pay app would act as your banking app, showing you your deposits, withdrawals, and purchases. According to TechCrunch, you wouldn’t necessarily need the supposed Google checking account to use the Google Pay card — you could instead link it to your existing checking account and then use the Google Pay app as your financial hub.
Why would you want to do that? The Google Pay card will, theoretically, be much more secure than a standard debit card because it will create virtual account numbers for your transactions. Plus, the Google Pay app will likely be much more robust and dependable than the apps of some smaller banks and credit unions.
With the apparent success of the Apple Card — which is a credit card, not a debit card, so it’s very different — it’s only a matter of time before Google unveils its answer to that product. However, it’s interesting to see Google pretty much just trying what it’s already tried before with the Google Pay card. Time will tell if that’s how it actually plays out.
TechCrunch had no idea about when we would see a launch for this new Google Pay card. There’s also no telling if the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed Google’s secret plans for the launch.