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Google is the latest technology giant to unveil a banking plan

  Google CEO Sundar Pichai Copyright
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Google is expanding its financial offerings

Google has become the latest technology giant to announce a new consumer financial product ̵

1; this time current accounts.

The company said it plans to partner with banks and credit unions in the US to offer "smart check"

It says the service, which will be launched through Google Pay, will allow consumers to add Google analytics tools to traditional banking products.

This move follows the offering of credit cards, payment systems and loans by Facebook, Uber, Apple and Amazon.

While products and arrangements differ, technology giants entering the banking world share a key motive: becoming indispensable, says Gerard du Toit, a partner at Bain & Co. consulting firm.

"They all compete for the attention of consumers and for their ecosystem and platform to win," he says.

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Facebook has stated that its payment tool is a natural growth of its wider purpose of connecting people

Amazon's credit card and business loans are aimed at enhancing its e-commerce business, while Uber Money provides credit cards, debit accounts and money-tracking tools to service the company's taxi operations.

Facebook has stated that the Facebook Pay service has been paid. will complement its messaging tools.

Both Google and Apple, which have teamed up with Goldman Sachs' new consumer arm, Marcus, on credit card as part of their Apple Pay and Wallet service, want to make iPhones and Androids essential.

Joining financial services will also provide information to Google and Facebook about their advertising business, which will help track what ads lead to purchases, said Mr du Toit.

Banking developments are likely to add to the technology debate the giants already facing probes related to competition, data protection and confidentiality.

Some employees have also expressed concern about gaps in financial supervision as increasing activity occurs outside of traditional banking. And in recent days, New York has announced that it will investigate Apple after accusations that its credit card relies on "sexist" algorithms.

Mr du Toit said regulatory concerns were a "soup fly" for technology companies.

"They will have to be very careful," he said.


In many cases,

Google has stated that its US partners, which reported Citigroup, will begin offering accounts by 2020.

"We believe that our regulatory and financial know-how Partner's know-how is a great addition to our experience in building useful tools and technologies for our users, "said a statement.


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Chinese tech giants have been successful with financial services

China lagging behind

Amazon has been offering small business loans since 2011 and released its credit card with JP Morgan Chase in 2017.

But in some ways, companies' announcement noise this year is a sign that The US is late for the party.

In China and some other countries, technology firms have moved swiftly into banking, motivated by the need to fill the gaps left by the traditional financial industry, which is hampering their businesses, whether they are e-commerce or food companies.

In the United States, however, the need was smaller, thanks in part to the ubiquity of credit cards and other "good enough solutions," said Mr. De Toit.

Large technology payment services, similar to Ali Financial's WeChat's Ant Financial and Tencent, represent about 16% of China's GDP, compared with less than 1% in the US, according to the Bank for International Payments, an organization supported by 60 of the world's central banks.

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Tech companies "are increasingly getting into it because they believe they can offer a better solution.

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Last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg raised the threat of Chinese competition, defending her firm's interest in developing cryptocurrency before Congress last month. [19659007] "I think the US financial infrastructure is outdated," he said.

The Darwin Experiment

As technology companies begin to use their vast reach, close customer relationships and giant data sets, banks "Mr De Toit says they have" woken up "to the threat of collaborations and other troublesome "frenemies" agreements.

With technology companies going beyond credit cards, regional banks will be left behind while smaller financial technologies

"Sometimes I describe this as a giant Darwinian experiment on different bank compounds and the big ones "There will be some mutations that succeed and others that fail."

While Google's earlier efforts to build Google Pay failed to gain much traction in the US, the company has developed significant a payments business in India where Bain & Co Research found that more than half of the respondents had used the platform in the last 12 months.

"I would not count them," says Mr du Toit.

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