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By Alix Langone
November 13, 2019
VCG—VCG via Getty Images

Google is unveiling a new product: checking accounts.

Consumer bank accounts from Google will launch sometime next year, according to The Wall Street Journal. The tech giant is partnering with Citigroup and the Stanford Federal Credit Union to manage them.

Google dipping its toe into financial services represents the latest move by a Silicon Valley behemoth trying to capture a slice of the growing online banking marketplace for itself.

The forays into online banking and mobile payments by tech giants haven’t all gone smoothly. Apple unveiled the Apple Card earlier this year, and the company and its partner Goldman Sachs faced a recent backlash when customers pointed out that the algorithms responsible for determining a user’s credit limit may be discriminatory. Facebook launched its own payment service called Facebook Pay earlier this week, in addition to continuing to develop its struggling cryptocurrency known as Libra.

People who sign up for Google checking accounts would access them through Google Pay, the company’s digital wallet offering, which is similar to Apple Pay. Google Pay is expected to have 100 global million users by 2020, the Journal says, while Apple Pay had around 140 million users last year.

Google hasn’t decided whether or not its checking accounts would charge users fees, Caesar Sengupta, a Google executive, told the Journal. He did say, however, that the company would not sell users’ financial data.

The project, code-named Cache, has garnered attention from federal regulators who are already worried about myriad issues surrounding big tech. Google is currently facing an anti-trust review by the Justice Department, as well as general concern from Washington and consumers alike that the company has too much power to stifle competitors and collect and profit off of the personal data of users without any real oversight.

While some tech companies are branding their digital banking products with their own name, Google will use the branding of their financial partners and allow the banks to take care of managing the financial operations of the accounts.

“Our approach is going to be to partner deeply with banks and the financial system,” Sengupta told the Journal. “It may be the slightly longer path, but it’s more sustainable.”

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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