Google Throws Curveball, Plans To Offer Online Checking Accounts In 2020

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Google is set to make a big push in the consumer banking market with a project code-named Cache. The project will see the search giant offer checking accounts to consumers in the U.S. in conjunction with Citigroup and the Stanford Federal Credit Union. A Google spokesman says that the search giant is exploring how to partner with banks and credit unions in the States.

The smart checking accounts would be offered via Google Pay, and customers at the partner banks would be able to benefit from useful checking insights and budgeting tools. By partnering with the banks, the account holders would be able to keep their money in an FDIC or NCUA-insured account.

The Google spokesman noted that the company looked forward to sharing more details in the coming months, and that it has no intention of selling customer data. A Google executive has stated that if the search giant can help people "do more stuff in a digital way online," that it is good for Google and the internet in general.

Google is certainly not the first major tech firm to look to step into banking and financial industries. Facebook had several credit card companies and banks on board with Libra before all its partners pulled out. And Apple recently launched its Apple Card, which is a digital-centric credit card that further ties customers into its walled garden. Google plans to brand its checking accounts with the financial institution names, not its own. Google has offered no hard details on how its services will benefit the users, but more is expected closer to launch.

At least one U.S. senator is calling for regulations to be put in place for big tech companies entering into new fields. Sen Mark Warner says that he is concerned about the tech firms entering the new fields ahead of regulations being in place because once they enter the new field, it will be "virtually impossible" to get them out.