Google abandons plans to offer bank accounts to users

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  • Google is scrapping plans to offer bank accounts with financial partners such as Citigroup.
  • The company said it will “focus primarily on providing digital enablement for banks and other financial service providers, rather than serving as a provider of these services.”
  • The former Google VP who oversaw the project started his own fintech company, which laid off many of his employees from Google.

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Google is ending its plan to provide banking services directly to users.

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The change comes several months after the company first announced its banking plans and the departure of a key executive leading the project.

In 2020, Google said it would let users open bank accounts through its Google Pay app, in partnership with Citigroup and Stanford Federal Credit Union, starting in 2021. At the time, Google said it would offer a service called “Plex” checking and savings accounts with no monthly fees, overdraft fees, or minimum balance requirements. Users will also be able to request a physical debit card, which will run on Mastercard’s network, the company told Businesshala at the time.

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Wall Street Journal first informed of News of canceled plans on Friday, the departure of a Google Pay executive overseeing the project, as well as a series of reportedly missed deadlines, began to twist the project.

A Google spokesperson confirmed the report to Businesshala but declined to comment on the executive’s departure impact.

“Our work with our partners has made it clear that there is consumer demand for simple, seamless and secure digital payments for online and in-store transactions,” a Google spokesperson told Businesshala in an email. “We are updating our approach to focus primarily on providing digital enablement for banks and other financial service providers, rather than serving as a provider of these services.”

Google’s cloud unit has also made financial services one of its core customer-focused areas.

While banks have expressed apprehensions that the tech giant will try to invade consumer finance, as they have done with other industries such as media and advertising, the threat has barely surfaced so far.

amazon was Allegedly In 2018 it explored offering bank accounts to its customers, a project that is yet to materialise. Uber reinvigorated its fintech ambitions last year with the departure of executive Peter Hazlehurst. Facebook had to rebrand its crypto project amid several setbacks.

One notable exception is Apple, which successfully launched a credit card with Goldman Sachs in 2019 and is reportedly exploring a pay-later product for purchases with the bank.

Cesar Sengupta, Google’s former vice president and general manager of Google Payments and “Next Billion Users,” told Businesshala in 2020 that the company wants to “make banking more relevant to the mobile-first generation,” as an explanation of its banking plans. .

Sengupta left Google in March to start his own financial tech company called ArboWorks, according to him. linkedin. Since then, he has appeared to recruit several longtime Google employees into his company, according to linkedin and ArboWorks website.

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