Google appears to be giving banks and payment apps a run for their, well, money. Google announced that it will enter more seriously into the financial products arena, partnering with Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union to offer consumers bank accounts and allow for users to send payments to friends and family similar to Venmo and Cash App. It plans to partner with 11 more financial institutions next year.
The Google Pay app, similar to Venmo, will enable people to do such things as pay friends, split a check or pay for parking meters, as well as buy gas from Shell, ExxonMobil and other participating gas stations. It also anticipates creating loyalty programs and deals with businesses such as Burger King, Sweetgreen and REI.
Google Pay’s updated features will enable users to link Google photos to search receipts and connect with Gmail to view bills and subscriptions as part of money management. It shows spending summaries and trends over time. Users will also receive rewards and offers based on their transaction information.
Its “mobile-first bank account” will be called “Plex” and will be managed through the Google Pay app. The Plex checking and savings accounts will have no monthly fees, overdraft charges or minimum balance requirements. Consumers can also obtain a physical debit card, which will run through Mastercard.
Google is dealing with a Department of Justice lawsuit for, among other things, using data collected from Android and Chrome in its other areas of business. To soothe consumer fears, Google put out a statement that said, “Google Pay will never sell your data to third parties or share your transaction history with the rest of Google for targeting ads.”
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