Big Tech will push deeper into finance this year — but avoid the ‘headache’ of being a bank

Big Tech may want to get into banking this year, but it doesn’t want to be your bank.

Google plans to introduce consumer bank accounts later this year in collaboration with Citibank and a California-based credit union. The company wants to piggyback off the financial know-how of its partners, while providing the digital layer through Google Pay.

It’s somewhat similar to a move from once of its Silicon Valley peers. In 2019, Apple debuted a credit card that created in partnership with Goldman Sachs. Like Google, the company has left much of the financial legwork to its bank partner while designing the card itself and integrating it with its digital wallet app.

Though their products are different, both firms share something in common: they have no plans to become regulated financial institutions like Citi or Goldman. While Big Tech — a group of companies that includes Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple — will undoubtedly push deeper into finance this year, their progress in banking will be “more of a slow creep than big strides,” said Sarah Kocianski, head of research at fintech consultancy 11:FS.


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