Apple and Facebook have both entered into the financial world. Google has revealed plans to offer checking accounts in 2020 through a project nicknamed Cache now as well. The search giant won’t handle the actual underpinnings. Citigroup and a credit union at Stanford University will handle the accounts and feature the most prominent branding. There will be integration between Google and the accounts though.
Google is promising that it won’t sell account holders’ financial info. So, this is meant to add value for customers, shops and the banks themselves with services like loyalty programs. The company’s Caesar Sengupta touted it as a way to further digitize the banking world. “If we can help more people do more stuff in a digital way… it’s good for the internet and good for us,” he said.
However, banking accounts include sensitive information and governments will want assurances that Google isn’t snooping on that data, exposing it to security risks or abusing it to maintain its internet dominance. Rivals like Facebook are already facing scrutiny for their own financial endeavors. Google might encounter this also. Combine that with ongoing antitrust investigations and Google may have to go out of its way to prove that its checking accounts will help more than they hurt. It is an interesting step for Google.