Alphabet’s Google has hired former PayPal executive Arnold Goldberg to run its payments division, Google confirmed to CoinDesk on Wednesday. The search giant had previously retreated from a push into banking, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the news of the hire.
Goldberg’s hire is part of a broader strategy for the company to incorporate a wider range of financial services, including cryptocurrencies, Google’s president of commerce, Bill Ready, told Bloomberg. Google has historically avoided offering crypto as part of its financial services.
“Crypto is something we pay a lot of attention to,” Ready told Bloomberg. “As user demand and merchant demand evolves, we’ll evolve with it." Google declined to provide additional detail to CoinDesk about its crypto plans.
Arnold previously served as the chief product architect and general manager at PayPal, where he led the company’s core checkout and merchant services businesses.
Late last year crypto platform Bakkt said its virtual Visa debit card would be available for use on Google Pay online and in stores. Bakkt’s Google Pay support follows in the footsteps of Coinbase, which rolled out support for Apple Pay and Google Pay for its Coinbase Cards earlier this year. Google is also working with Bitpay and Gemini to support their crypto cards, meaning that people who use these cards can add them to Google Pay, but the transaction is in fiat currencies, according to a Google spokesperson.
Ready told Bloomberg that Google is looking to do more of these types of partnerships with crypto companies, though Google still isn’t accepting crypto for transactions.
CORRECTION (Jan. 19, 18:46 UTC): A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Google's partnership with Coinbase and BitPay allowed users to store crypto assets on Google's digital cards.
UPDATE (Jan. 19, 18:46 UTC): Added confirmation of hiring from Google, more info about Arnold's background and comments from the company.