Google will offer personal checking accounts starting in 2020

A hot potato: Google is working with Citibank and the Stanford Federal Credit Union to create standard checking accounts as part of a new program that’ll launch next year. Will consumers go for it or is their financial data off limits?

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the project – codenamed Cache – will look and act like a traditional Citibank checking account. Much like Apple’s approach with its new credit card, Google would allow users to access their accounts through the Google Pay app on their mobile devices.

Aside from this benefit, however, no other details were provided. Google said it hasn’t yet decided if it will charge users a fee for its checking account.

Google executive Caesar Sengupta told the WSJ that their approach “is going to be to partner deeply with banks and the financial system.”

Is that really what people want – or need – from big tech right now? As a whole, reputations aren’t exactly shining. Misuse of data and trust is at an all-time high. The reasonable expectation of privacy is a joke. There are a ton of metrics that could be gleamed from sensitive financial information and purchasing habits. Who is to say these companies won’t sell that data or use it to boost other aspects of their business?

Conversely, mega banks don’t exactly have stellar track records, either. Is it a loss – loss situation? Maybe doing business with a local bank or credit union is the best bet?

Masthead credit: ATM by Josep Suria

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