Google is scrapping its plans to offer banking service directly to users. The shift comes nearly two years after the agency first declared its banking plans and several months after a key executive leading the project.
In 2020 Google said it would let users open a bank account through its Google pay app in a partnership with CitiGroup and Stanford federal credit union beginning in 2021. At the time Google said it would offer a service called PLEX checking and savings accounts that would have no monthly fees overdraft charges or minimum balance requirements. Users would have also been able to request a physical debit card which would have run on MasterCard network the agency told CNBC at the time.
The wall street journal first reported news of the scrapped plans, stating a series of reportedly missed deadlines along with the departure of the Google pay executive overseeing the project caused it to begin to fold.
A Google spokesperson confirmed the report to CNBC, but declined to comment on the executive’s departure effect. Our work with our partners has made it extremely clear that there consumer demand for simple, seamless and secure digital payments for online and in store transactions the Google spokesperson told CNBC in an email.
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We are updating our approach to focus primarily on delivering digital enablement for banks and other financial services providers rather than serving as the provider of these services.
While banks have expressed fear that tech giants will seek to invade consumer finance as they have done with other industries like media and advertising so far threat has barely materialized. Amazon had reportedly explored offering bank accounts to its customers in 2018 a project that has yet to materialize. Google cloud unit has also made financial services one of its main customer focus areas.