Google plans debit card launch in the US
Google is planning to launch its own debit card, according to leaked developmental images obtained by TechCrunch.
While at first the card seems a direct rival to Apple’s own Goldman-backed credit card, Google’s new offering appears to be an app-based account more akin to UK challenger banks Monzo and Starling.
Users will be able to monitor purchases, check balances and lock accounts from their mobile application.
According to the leaks, the card and account is set to be launched in the US, and features branding involving both Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union.
The technology giant confirmed to the Wall Street Journal back in November that it was in long talks with banks and credit unions in the US to offer checking accounts through Google Pay.
TechCrunch sources stated that Google is aiming to release a card as a bedrock for its Google Pay application.
Google Pay is currently only able to allow online and peer-to-peer (P2P) payments via a pairing with a bank-issued card.
The leaks are seemingly confirmed in source code for Google’s web browser Chrome. 9to5Google found references to “Google-issued payment cards” being able to be added to the browser’s autofill functionality.
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This won’t be the first time that Google has attempted to break into the financial services sector. It launched Google Wallet in 2011.
Originally designed as a P2P payments service, Google Wallet allowed people to send and receive money from a mobile device or desktop computer without costs.
Yet the service was beset by setbacks. At launch it was supported by a single mobile phone: the Nexus S 4G. Google also failed to ensure that its wallet service would be available on flagship phones hitting shelves in the following months.
Not long after launch it was also discovered that funds stored on the Google Wallet could be accessed outside of the application, and that hackers may be able to intercept data through Google Analytics.
Eventually, Google Wallet was merged with Google Pay in 2018 to become Google Pay Send.