We're learning more details about the bid to expand Google Pay's offerings beyond digital peer-to-peer transactions. Six banks have announced partnerships with Google that will allow new customers to launch accounts at their institutions through Google Pay.
Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union had already signed up to Google's initiative. The new banks in this round are:
- Bank Mobile, a subsidiary of Pennsylvania-based Customers Bank
- BBVA USA (formerly BBVA Compass) in Alabama
- BMO Harris in Chicago
- Coastal Community Bank in Washington
- First Independence Bank in Michigan
- SEFCU in New York
In each of these cases, Google will provide the front-end experience and insight via the Google Pay app while the banks provide the financial backing and transactional infrastructure. The accounts will be FDIC or NCUA-insured, depending on the institution, and offered starting sometime in 2021.
Leaked screenshots of Google Pay UI related to a Google-branded debit card (TechCrunch)
Images leaked back in April showed at least one of the potential end products we could look forward to: a Google Pay debit card that can be managed completely from the app. In response to press queries, Google confirmed that it was working on helping banking clients "benefit from useful insights and budgeting tools" and noted its relationships with Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union.
"We had confirmed earlier that we are exploring how we can partner with banks and credit unions in the US to offer digital bank 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," Google told Android Police in a statement today. "We are excited that six new banks have signed up to offer digital checking and savings."
The company looks to be targeting a variety of populations with its partnerships — to say nothing about the credit unions, First Independence is minority-owned, and the largest new banks each serve a handful of states in the Midwest and South. Developing trust in those communities as well as running a major tap-and-pay platform can definitely help Google gain a foothold with what it wants to do — that will mostly likely be to generate precious data it can use to feed into its advertising business.
But, as with any of these new-fangled, non-legacy banking services like T-Mobile MONEY (backed by Bank Mobile, funnily enough), Google will need some tangential perks to serve as the ultimate ace down its sleeve. We still don't have a clear idea of what that is just yet.