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Google reportedly offering checking accounts next year


Google will offer checking accounts next year, according to a source familiar with the company’s plans, representing big tech’s boldest move yet into the consumer banking business as most have focused on credit cards and payment platforms.

The accounts for the project will be run by Citigroup and the Stanford Federal Credit Union. The  Wall Street Journal was first to report the offering.

As part of a project code-named Cache, the company will become the latest Silicon Valley leader to try its hand at the banking space. Previous attempts by Apple and Facebook faced obstacles, with consumers growing increasingly skeptical over providing big tech companies with their personal information. 

Google does not intend to sell customers’ data, Caesar Sengupta, an executive at the firm, told the Journal.

“If we can help more people do more stuff in a digital way online, it’s good for the internet and good for us,” Sengupta said.

Apple’s offering has run into multiple issues. Its partnership with Goldman Sachs has been tense after Apple said it created the card without help from a bank. Also, complaints have arisen recently that the algorithm used to determine customers’ credit limits is biased toward men.

Facebook’s foray into digital currency saw major financial backers drop out over regulatory concerns.

Google’s plans are to brand the checking accounts with the financial institutions’ names, not its own.

—With reporting by John Melloy



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