Ever since Apple launched the Apple Card, its seems that every other tech giant seems to be interested in launching their own debit or credit card. Recently, Chinese tech-giant Huawei launched its 'Huawei Card' which is basically an Apple Card-like physical and digital credit card, and now it looks like Google wants to join the party too.
The Mountain View, California based search engine giant is looking to take on the Apple Card with its very own Google Card, according to reports.
Google's debit card
Apparently, TechCrunch has got its hands on some images and other details that suggest Google is working on its own physical and virtual debit card that would compere with the Apple Card.
But unlike Apple Card, which is a credit card made in collaboration with MasterCard and Goldman Sachs, Google Card is a debit card that will be linked with different bank partners such as Stanford Federal Credit Union and Citi.
Also unlike Apple Card, Google Card will come with a Visa-powered chip but it is likely that Google may expand it to have other payment processors including MasterCard later on.
A debit card from a tech company that works like a normal debit card
The report cities details from sources with knowledge of the development and explains how Google's debit card can also connect to your Google Pay account and how you can use it just like a regular debit card which you use both online or in stores, meaning that you can use the Google Card to buy things with a card, mobile phone or online.
You can use the physical Google Card for making payments for purchases at retail stores and it will support Visa's contactless payments as well. Meanwhile, the virtual version of the card can be used for online purchases and Bluetooth-enabled payments via your smartphone.
Paired with Google Pay
The card will also connect to a Google app, most likely Google Pay, which will let user to track and monitor all their purchases, check their account balance, and lock their card if it gets lost or stolen, the report suggests.
Currently, the Google Pay app only allows you to add a bank account and card for online and peer-to-peer payments and also allows you to check the balance by connecting a traditionally issued payment card.
Google's attempt at becoming a 'fin-tech' company
Meanwhile, this is not Google's first attempt at a payment card. If we could recall, Google tried its hands on a payment card before with the Google Wallet which was launched in 2013 but lasted was got scrapped merely three years later.
And while the previous attempt was just a Wallet card, the Google Card seems to be part of Google's bigger push into financial services. It is not known exactly when Google will announce its debut card, but the tech giant did confirm in a statement to TechCrunch saying that it is exploring ways.
"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."
What a debit card means for Google
Meanwhile, there's a popular assumption in the tech community that every tech giant eventually ends up offering financial services, which is described by the term "fin-tech"– take Apple and Huawei for example and Samsung which offers banking and financial services bin South Korea. And it looks Google's headed the same route.
Is strategy is to partner with banks and credit unions and provide the underlying infrastructure and navigate regulation while it builds smarter interfaces and user experience. There's might come a day that Google might just cut out the banks and take all the spoils for itself, but it's just too early to predict.
However, a smart debit card and checking accounts could open the doors for Google's banking ambitions, stock brokering, financial advise or "robo-advise", accounting, and insurance or lending. By building a smart debit card Google can also unlock new revenue streams and make money through interchange transaction fees on purchases made with its card or make money off of apps and other checking account fees and then split them with its banking partners.
Post-coronavirus economy could help Google Card
Also, Google's vast access to data could allow it to more accurately manage risk than transitional banking institutions. Google's tighter integration via apps, ads, search and the Android OS could deepen its connection with the consumers and help in promote and integrate financial services in many ways.
With the present precarious COVID-19 situation, people around the world are suddenly more concerned about their finances and a debit card with more transparency and control might prove to be more appealing.