Following in the footsteps of Apple and the Apple Card, it appears Google may be preparing to get into personal financial products. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Google is planning to offer checking accounts next year with something called Project Cache.
The report says Google will partner with banks and credit unions to offer checking accounts, but the bans will handle all the financial and compliance activities. This is a slightly different approach than what Apple is doing with the Apple Card. Caesar Sengupta, a GM & VP of Payments at Google, spoke to the WSJ and he made it clear that Google will be putting its partners much more out in front. The Apple Card is backed by Goldman Sachs, but Apple doesn’t really promote that fact. It’s very much an Apple product through and through.
So what’s the point for Google? As you may have guessed, it’s all about collecting information, which is at the core of every Google product. The company plans to offer incentives for customers, of course, such as loyalty programs. According to Sengupta, the company is still deciding on whether it will charge service fees. No fees would be a pretty big incentive on its own for some people.
Google will have a bigger hurdle to get over than Apple when it comes to convincing people to give it financial information. However, a lot of people already use Google Pay, so it may not be a big leap to whatever Project Cache ends up being. This is an interesting new battleground in the tech space and we’re interested to see what Google does.