Google’s debit card can make it the biggest Fintech player in world

As per a report in Tech Crunch, Google is developing its own physical and virtual debits cards to enter into financial services like many tech giants of Silicon Valley and its arch-rival Apple. The card will be associated with the user’s bank account and will allow users to make purchases via phone, physically or online. 

The card will have a banking partner with which will work and be co-branded. It will have Citibank and Stanford Federal Credit Union on board as the banking partner. This is not the first time when Google has made an attempt to enter financial services.

In 2014 when Google pay was known as Google Wallet, the company had offered a debit card you could use with your wallet balance, however, the company decided to kill it off in 2016. At present Google Pay allows you to make NFC payments or transfer money to others using an existing card, Pay Pal or UPI (in India). 

The long-term implication is far greater for the company. By building a smart debit card, Google has the opportunity to unlock new streams of revenue and data. It could potentially charge interchange fees on purchase made with the card or other checking account fee and split them with their banking partners. Google can also use this transaction data to understand user behavior and improve ad campaign measurement with more precise targeting.

Its vast access to data can allow it to more accurately manage risk than its traditional financial institutions. Google is boasting of vast and easy to use security features on its debit card which it is positioning against Apple's titanium designed MasterCard backed by Goldman Sachs. Apple Pay now accounts for 5 % of global card transactions and is set to hit 10 % in 2024.

Google could have an edge over as more tend people trust software services and the vast amount of data the company will obtain. Google debit card may not be as lucrative as its core business stream of ad, search and tech but their traditional business model will certainly add to them becoming a big FinTech player. 


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Taniya Tikoo

Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder at ObserveNow. A Mountain girl using the power of words to change the world.

I dream to wake up to a world where I see a thriving Kashmir, a free Palestine and a Free Tibet 

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