Google is the latest big technology company to launch banking and personal finance services: The company intends to offer consumers account control, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal, starting next year. Google calls the project "Cache" and works with it banks and credit unions to provide control of accounts, while banks handle all financial and compliance activities related to accounts.
Google's Caesar Sengupta has spoken to the WSJ about the new initiative, and Sengupta has made it clear that Google will seek to put its affiliates in the financial institution far more "front-and-center" for its customers than other technology Companies they have probably done with their financial products. Apple is partnering with Goldman Sachs for its Apple Card credit product, but the credit card is mainly known as its product Apple.
So why even get into this game? Well, Google obviously gives a lot of valuable information to customers about their account, which for many is a good picture of overall day-to-day financial life. Google says it also intends to offer product benefits to both consumers and banks, including programs such as loyalty programs, in addition to basic financial services. It is also considering whether to charge service fees or not, Segupta said - which will certainly be an advantage, especially if they have multiple accounts.
Google already offers Google Pay and Google Wallet has hosted some features beyond simple payment tracking, including the ability to send money between people. Meanwhile, competitors including Apple have also introduced payment products, and Apple has of course recently expanded the credit market with the Apple Card. Facebook also introduced its own digital payments product earlier this week, and announced its intention to create its own digital currency called "Libra».
Initial financial partners that Google is partnering with include Google Citigroup and Stanford's Federal Credit Union and their motive seems to be to attract younger users who are increasingly trying to control their lives through online tools. According to Per Sengupta's comments, they will also benefit from Google's ability to work with large data sets and convert them into value-added products, but Google exec also said that technology company will not share this data with advertisers.