Google plans to partner with banks and credit unions in the US to offer the “smart checking” accounts, widening the scope of its financial services offered via Google Pay.
Google and Apple have teamed up with Goldman Sachs’ new consumer arm, Marcus, to develop a credit card platform and financial transaction service compatible with iPhones and Androids. Google is now planning to expand its alliance with traditional lenders to include Citigroup, offering new online accounts by 2020.
In essence, Google follows in the footsteps of Facebook, Uber, Apple and Amazon, in a drive to broaden its ecosystem.
One of the key motives is data-collection, allowing for ever more targeted advertising. Traditional lenders are also eager to enter the realm of data collection, to develop more tailor-made financial services and thereby hold on to their traditional customer base.
Google is likely to face the regulatory hurdles encountered by Facebook and other giants, as regulators fear infringement of competition, data protection, and privacy regulation. There are also financial oversight concerns both in the US and in Europe.