Images of Google’s Reported Debit Card Project Surface
Over the past several months, a number of FinTechs have debuted their own takes on a debit card product. From Square to Robinhood and SoFi to Long Game, each of these offerings complimented the company’s other services, hopefully incentivizing users to come aboard. Now it looks like a much larger corporation is looking to enter the FinTech debit card space: Google.
According to TechCrunch, which obtained images of the upcoming product, Google is continuing work on a debit card product. Their report suggests that the card would be offered as both a digital and physical product, with cardholders also unlocking features on their phone where they could view purchases, lock their card, and more. Currently it seems as though the card is set to operate on the Visa network — although that could reportedly change. Meanwhile Google is working with Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union on the new offering. At this time TechCrunch notes that the debit card doesn’t yet have an official name.
Reports of Google’s interest in offering a checking account first arrived last November, with the Wall Street Journal noting that the project was being called “Cache” within the walls of Google. That article also indicated Citigroup and Stanford credit union as potential partners. At the time, the Journal also reported that executives at Google weren’t yet sure if the account should carry any fees — a detail that is still unclear following TechCrunch’s report.
From what’s been revealed so far, Google’s potential card bears some striking similarities along with some major differences from the Apple Card. While the digital/physical card combo, wallet interface, and unique card numbers for online shopping seem to put the two offerings on equal ground, it’s important to remember that the Apple Card is a credit card whereas Google’s will reportedly be a debit card. Additionally, from current reports, Google would be working with multiple banks whereas Apple partnered with just one, Goldman Sachs, for what was that institution’s first credit card.
Asked by TechCrunch about the project, Google reportedly did not dispute the site’s report. TechCrunch also notes that they were offered a statement first issued after the Journal’s earlier reports that stated, “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.”
Although it’s still unclear when Google’s debit card might be formally announced, it does seems as though the project is still very much on the docket. Of course it’s hard to say whether the current crisis will have any impact on Google’s potential timing. In any case, it’s definitely a project worth watching.
Also published on Medium.