Google is negotiating with banks to provide current accounts to its customers, a move that will accelerate Silicon Valley’s entry into the financial services industry. Earlier, Apple has launched credit cards, and Facebook has proposed the launch of digital currency Libra.
The move could further alarm lawmakers, who are already anxious about the concentration of personal information in the hands of a few tech giants. At the same time, Facebook’s Libra has encountered widespread resistance.
Google’s close cooperation with existing financial service providers seems to indicate that the company is determined to avoid the fierce resistance that Facebook has encountered as a result of the Libra plan.
“Our approach will be to deepen cooperation with banks and the financial system,” Caesar Sengupta, general manager of Google’s payments business, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal also reported that Google is negotiating with banks, including Citigroup, to provide current accounts.
Many regulators in the United States and Europe believe that Google’s strategy of bundling new products with widely used services, such as its search engine and Android smartphone operating system, is harming competition.
In recent years, the European Commission has issued billions of dollars in antitrust penalties against the company after investigating Google’s search, advertising and Android businesses.
Although mobile and online payments such as WeChat Pay and Alipay are widely used in China, Silicon Valley companies have so far made slow progress in the heavily regulated financial services sector.
Apple and Goldman Sachs have jointly launched a credit card this year, providing cash rebates to consumers who buy Apple devices, and an iPhone app that tracks consumption.
The Google Banking project, code-named Cache, is the latest attempt by this company with a market value of $ 900 billion to enter the personal finance industry.
The company launched Google Wallet in 2011 as a way for users to transfer money to each other. But it wasn’t until the launch of Google Pay, which allows mobile payments like its main competitor, Apple Pay, that Google opened up the market.
In December last year, Google obtained an electronic money license in Lithuania, enabling it to process payments and provide digital wallets across the EU. In addition, Google has been authorized by the Bank of Ireland under the European Union’s Payment Services Directive Second Edition (PSD2).