Some of technology’s biggest players have been making their mark in the payment services sector, with both Apple and Google finding ways to establish ground without the hassle of becoming a bank.
Last summer, Apple launched its own credit card, partnering with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard on the endeavor. The card offers a “Daily Cash” rewards program giving cardholders back 2 percent when they use the Apple Card with Apple Pay, and 3 percent on all Apple purchases. It also aims to help customers better understand their spending by providing weekly and monthly spending summaries.
And this week TechCrunch reported that Google has plans for its own physical and virtual debit cards. Citing leaked photos and various reliable sources, the outlet revealed that Google has partnered with various banks including CITI and Stanford Federal Credit Union on the debit card. The news follows earlier reports that the tech giant plans to launch consumer checking accounts in partnership with Citigroup and Stanford University.
The Google card and associated checking account will allow users to buy things with a card, mobile phone or online. It connects to a Google app with new features that allow users to easily monitor purchases, check their balance or lock their account.
In the designs, the card is on the Visa network, although it is possible Google will also work with Mastercard. Users will be able to add money or transfer funds out of their account from the connected Google app. Users can pay for purchases in retail stores with a physical Google debit card, including with contactless payments, or use the virtual version of the card that lives on a user’s phone for Bluetooth mobile payments, online or in-app payments.
While Google wouldn’t confirm or deny the report, it did release a statement to TechCrunch: “We're exploring how we can partner with banks and credit unions in the US to offer smart checking accounts through Google Pay, helping their customers benefit from useful insights and budgeting tools, while keeping their money in an FDIC or NCUA-insured account. Our lead partners today are Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union, and we look forward to sharing more details in the coming months.”