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Google Pay launches digital bank accounts next year

  • Google partners with BBVA to provide Americans with a digital bank account using Google Pay.
  • It will be a co-branded and fully insured bank that will be launched in 2021.
  • Google will provide the interface.

Google’s foray into digital banking has started in earnest, if not exactly as you expected.

BBVA announced that it is working with Google to offer digital bank accounts in the United States through Google Pay in 2021. Google will take care of the interface, including “financial information”, while BBVA will provide the infrastructure. The bank will be co-branded, BBVA said.

It is not known how this bank would operate, although it would have FDIC insurance. Existing fully digital banks often let you manage virtually everything from an app on your phone, but have their limitations if you need to withdraw money, manage checks, or get help.

The BBVA deal is somewhat surprising when the initial reports called for a partnership between Google and Citigroup for US accounts. It is not certain that Citi is still involved. This remains a big step for Google, however, and will test whether or not Google Pay can serve as a financial hub, and not just a way to buy groceries or speed up your online shopping.

Google would explore the possibility of offering a debit card through Pay, even if it would be linked to an existing bank account rather than an official account.

Like Apple Card and Samsung’s debit card, it’s as much about protecting a core business as it is about venturing into new territory. While it can be very convenient to access your bank account directly from Google Pay, you’ll also need to keep using Google Pay on your phone (and therefore Android) if you want to fully enjoy the experience. This could prevent you from switching to an iPhone or competing digital bank, if only for the sake of convenience.

Source: Android Authority

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