Google could soon follow Apple in launching its own branded payments card, according to TechCrunch.
The tech giant is developing physical and virtual debit cards that would be co-branded with financial services players, including Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union.
These two firms were floated in a November Wall Street Journal report on a possible Google checking account, code-named Cache.
Cache was initially expected to launch early this year but has yet to materialise and it is also unclear when the debit card could make its way into the wild.
If and when it does, the card would let users make in-person, in-app and online purchases and strengthen Google Pay, helping the digital wallet in its fight with rivals from Apple, Samsung and Facebook.
The November WSJ report suggests that Google is less interested in creating a banking brand than in obtaining the valuable financial data - on things like income and bills - associated with the accounts.
The Google plan is also significantly different to Apple's effort, which is a credit card, launched in partnership with Goldman Sachs last August.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Google says: "We’re exploring how we can partner with banks and credit unions in the US to offer smart checking accounts through Google Pay, helping their customers benefit from useful insights and budgeting tools, while keeping their money in an FDIC or NCUA-insured account. Our lead partners today are Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union, and we look forward to sharing more details in the coming months."