Next year, Google will start offering personal checking accounts in partnership with Citigroup Inc and a small credit union at Stanford University, according to reports.
The project, named Cache, were first reported by the Wall Street Journal, followed by Reutres and Bloomberg.
“Our approach is going to be to partner deeply with banks and the financial system,” Caesar Sengupta, general manager and vice-president of payments at Google, told the Journal in an interview. “It may be the slightly longer path, but it’s more sustainable,” Sengupta was quoted as saying.
Citigroup will be handling most of the financial and compliance requirements, and customers will be able to access their accounts through the Google Pay app, Bloomberg's report claims.
Representatives for Google and Citigroup declined to comment.
While previous attempts from big tech companies like Facebook and Apple to get into financial services have met with obstacles and regulatory scrutiny, Google hopes to the latest Silicon Valley leader to push into the banking space.
Google plans to brand its checking accounts with the financial institutions’ names, not its own and will leave all of the financial compliance to the banks, although it is still unclear whether Google plans to charge fees on its accounts.
Banks have been facing competition from technology upstarts. such as money transfer services like Venmo, which is rolling out its own debit card. Google Pay will have to compete with the likes of similar apps from Apple, Samsung and Facebook—which earlier this week released a Facebook Pay service to use across its apps.
Facebook’s plan to launch its Libra cryptocurrency has met with skepticism from regulators, worried about the risk of money laundering and the security of transactions and user data.