Google announces plans of canceling managing bank accounts of users through a mobile payment app Google Pay. In 2019 the tech giant excited users after announcing plans of diving into online banking. The project was supposed to allow users to pay for purchases through their phones and was expected to be launched in the early part of the year 2021 however it witnessed numerous delays. This initiative had Google signing partnerships with financial institutions such as the Citi Group, BBVA, and the Stanford Federal Credit Union to create mobile bank accounts by the name Google Plex.
Over the years amidst working behind the scene to bring the project to life, Google revealed that the bank account was some sort of a digital wallet that was supposed to work with the Google Pay app. Benefits users would have derived were the ability to check their accounts through the app’s digital dashboard, the ability to find out how much was spent or saved, periodic updates on discount and retail offers, make requests for a debit card that runs on the MasterCard’s Network, and many other exciting incentives. This bank accounts were supposed to come at no monthly fees or overdraft charges to users.
Almost 2 years after the project was made known, Google has decided to cancel plans of launching the project. According to online sources, a specific reason for this is that a key executive at Google Pay – Caesar Sengupta, who is responsible for championing the project left Google precisely in April 2021. According to sources, Sengupta’s LinkedIn suggests he parted ways with Google to start his own financial tech company Arbo works. A spokesperson from Google confirmed plans by Google to abandon the project, however, he declined to make comments about the exit of the key executive.
According to Google’s spokesperson in an email to CNBC said, “Our work with our partners has made it extremely clear that there’s consumer demand for simple, seamless and secure digital payments for online and in-store transactions.” He added, “We’re updating our approach to focus primarily on delivering digital enablement for banks and other financial services providers rather than us serving as the provider of these services.” Google has been responsible for apps users could take advantage of in connecting with financial services for a very long time. In 2011, Google Wallet was introduced in a bid to compete with Apple and other tech innovations offering financial services.
While Google has assured users of its promises to give a better experience using artificial intelligence to modernize the technology, financial institutions express deep fear that invading consumer finance may be a practice modern tech companies will continue to explore just as witnessed in other industries like media and advertising in recent times. World tech giants like Apple, Samsung, Uber have at some point being enticed to offer financial services to their users. A typical example is Apple, in 2019 Apple announced its credit card called Apple Card which could be used along with Apple Pay. A financial service that was launched in partnership with Goldman Sachs. Amazon explored the unsuccessful idea of digital bank accounts for users in 2018, Facebook made efforts at cryptocurrency and the list goes on. It’s unknown what Google plans next to wow users but for now, we anticipate all the innovative features Google has promised to roll out at the 2021 ‘Space On’ event that recently took place.