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Google to start offering bank accounts in 2020

By Hugh Wilson

Parent company Alphabet becomes latest tech giant to move into consumer finance space

Google will become the latest tech giant to make a move into consumer finance when it starts offering bank accounts next year, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal revealed that Google’s parent company, Alphabet, will launch a checking (current) account in 2020, in association with Citigroup and the Stanford Federal Credit Union.

The banking project, codenamed Cache, represents a new front in big technology’s push into consumer finances, with previous efforts mostly focused on credit cards and payment platforms.

Caesar Sengupta, general manager and vice-president of payments at Google, told the Journal that the move would be “good for the internet and good for us.”

“Our approach is going to be to partner deeply with banks and the financial system. It may be the slightly longer path, but it’s more sustainable,” he said.

Big tech’s push into the consumer finance sphere has seen mixed results of late. It was reported last week that Apple’s Apple Card credit card is under investigation by New York’s Department of Financial Services after reportedly offering men far higher credit limits than women.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s Libra digital currency project was dealt a serious blow last month after seven of its high profile partners quit, including PayPal, eBay, Visa and Mastercard. Regulators fear that the cryptocurrency would lead to data privacy and money laundering issues.

FURTHER READING: Facebook Libra, Explained

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