Google Checking a play for data?

Plans by Google to get into the checking account business by initially partnering with one credit union and one bank has far less to do with getting further into the financial business and far more to do with another motivation—and it’s going to have strong implications for CUs, analysts told

The CEO at the CU partnering with Google, Stanford FCU, believes such technology partnerships are a strategy for CUs to grow in the future.

As reported, Google plans to begin offering checking accounts in 2020 through Stanford FCU and Citibank. According to the company, Google will not be front-and-center on the offering and instead the Stanford FCU and Citi brands will be consumer facing, with the financial institutions responsible for all of the back-end operational support and compliance. Partner banks and credit unions will offer the so-called “smart checking” accounts through Google Pay. Google has not yet announced whether the accounts would charge fees and, if so, what the fee structure might be.

Google, which said it plans to expand beyond Stanford FCU and Citibank in the future, already has more than 2,000 banks offering virtual card transactions via Google Pay.


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