Google teams with Citigroup bank to offer checking accounts from 2020

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Google next big venture appears to be banking. According to reports -- including from the Wall Street Journal -- the company is partnering with Citigroup bank and will start to offer checking accounts from next year.

The project is codenamed Cache and it will also see Google teaming up with credit unions to provide banking facilities to people in the US. But with widespread concern about Google's attitude to privacy, is there a market for banking services from the company?

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The Wall Street Journal says that Cache is due to launch in 2020, and the checking accounts will be run by Citigroup Inc and a credit union at Stanford University. Speaking to the paper, Google's Caesar Sengupta said: "Our approach is going to be to partner deeply with banks and the financial system. It may be the slightly longer path, but it's more sustainable".

He added:

If we can help more people do more stuff in a digital way online, it's good for the internet and good for us.

Whether people outside of Google agree with this remains to be seen, but it is fair to say that the company will face a good deal of resistance from people, and it certainly has an uphill battle on its hands to win trust.

What could be key to Cache's success is the fact that it is the banks Google partners with that will handle financial and compliance activities. Sengupta stresses that partners will be more front-facing, differentiating Google Cache from Apple Card which sees Apple very much as the face of a financial product.

Image credit: rvlsoft / Shutterstock

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