Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
13 November 2019
Google checking faces all kinds of pitfalls
According to many media reports, your next way to bank is by using a Google checking account. Project Cache will partner Google with Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union to offer checking accounts to consumers. These accounts will be available as soon as next year.
While details are a bit sketchy at this point, the accounts will be branded Google. But the banking partners will conduct all the back office and legal compliance. So Google checking won’t actually be your bank. But it will have all of your information.
And that’s what this is really about, isn’t it, information? Getting at consumers’ personal data – their preferences, buying habits, and their hobbies and interests – seems like the modern day gold rush. The first prospector who hits the mother lode wins. Financial services is the next territory to mine, followed closely by medical records. But that’s a whole different story.
This bothers me. Do I want Google to know how much I make and where my money goes? While I am not sure I want them to know EVERYTHING, I think that ship has sailed for me. I use an Apple credit card, Apple pay (which is attached to my Apple card, my Costco Citi card and my checking account debit card), and Paypal and Venmo too. If I am being honest, my financial transactions are already out there to be mined.
But a checking account?
“As much of a behemoth Google is, it still must overcome the inertia of rest typical banking customers have. Google’s good, but we’ll see if it’s good enough to make Google checking a success.”
Google checking not an easy switch
After thinking about it, I think my hang-up with a Google checking account is simply that I already have a checking account. And the thought of switching bothers me. I have no interest in switching all of the automatic payments and other services tied to my checking account. I don’t really know what Google could offer that would make my current checking account wanting. I feel like I can do everything I want to do now.
I think I have a pretty good idea how Google could prompt people to consider a Google checking account. But clients pay us for those answers.
I have a pretty good sense of the current financial services market. I will tell you that people hesitate switching their primary financial institution because it’s a pain in the ass.
If Google thinks simply “if they build it they will come” then the tech giant is kidding itself. As much of a behemoth Google is, it still must overcome the inertia of rest typical banking customers have. Google’s good, but we’ll see if it’s good enough to make Google checking a success.
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