According to TechCrunch, the Silicon Valley-based multinational corporation is in the process of creating both virtual and physical debit cards. These new payment cards will be co-branded with financial services providers such as Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union.
The two companies were floated in a November 2019 Wall Street Journal article on a potential Google checking account (referred to as Cache).
Cache was supposed to go live earlier this year, however, it has still not launched. At present, it’s unclear whether the debit card will actually be offered.
If the payment card is released, then it may allow users to make in-person, in-app and online purchases, and would complement Google Pay’s existing services, allowing the digital wallet to compete with similar products offered by Apple, Facebook, and Samsung.
The WSJ article (from November of last year) noted that Google might not have much interest in developing a banking brand. Instead, the search engine giant may be looking to acquire insightful financial data on users’ income levels and bills, which may be tracked by monitoring their account activity.
Google’s plans to introduce a payment card seem to be quite different from Apple’s initiative, which is essentially a credit card, developed through a partnership with Wall Street financial giant Goldman Sachs in August 2019.
Google told 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.”
The company confirmed:
“Our lead partners today are Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union, and we look forward to sharing more details in the coming months.”