Google partners Citi on checking account

Google partners Citi on checking account

Big tech's long march on financial services continues, with Google partnering Citi and a small Stanford University-affiliated credit union to launch a checking account.

Code-named Cache, the account is slated to launch early next year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In contrast with Apple's tie-up with Goldman Sachs on its new credit card, Google is set to take a backseat on the checking account, with its partners' brands front and centre.

The tech giant is currently less interested in creating a banking brand than in obtaining the valuable financial data - on things like income and bills - associated with the accounts.

However, Google executive Caesar Sengupta tells the WSJ that the firm will not sell customers' financial data.

Instead, Sengupta says: "If we can help more people do more stuff in a digital way online, it’s good for the internet and good for us."

Users will be able to access the account through Google Pay, helping the digital wallet in its fight with rivals from Apple, Samsung and Facebook.

For their part, Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union hope to gain access to new, potentially lucrative young and educated customers, helping them stave off the threat from tech firms going after their business in a more direct way than Google.

Citi has a smaller branch network than its rivals and the bank's Anand Selva tells the Journal "we have to be where our customers are".

Citi and Goldman Sachs aren't the only banks easing the way for Bit Techs in financial services. Earlier this month it was reported that JPMorgan Chase was moving to bolster its valuable wholesale payments business by building an e-wallet that lets e-commerce and gig economy firms such as Amazon and Airbnb offer their customers virtual bank accounts.

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