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Google plans to offer checking accounts in partnership with Citi bank

Yogita Khatri

Search giant Google is planning to offer checking accounts via a partnership with banking giant Citigroup and lender Stanford Federal Credit Union.

The Wall Street Journal reported the news Wednesday, saying that the three firms are working on a project called Cache, which is expected to launch next year.

Caesar Sengupta, general manager and VP of payments at Google, told the WSJ that the search giant wants to bring value to consumers, banks and merchants, with the offering. It could include loyalty programs, for instance.

Sengupta stressed that Google wouldn’t sell checking-account users’ financial data. Federal regulators have already been investigating whether big tech companies, including Google and Facebook, have too much control over user information.

“Our approach is going to be to partner deeply with banks and the financial system. It may be the slightly longer path, but it’s more sustainable,” said Sengupta.

Anand Selva, head of U.S. consumer banking at Citigroup, said that partnerships like the one with Google would let the bank grow beyond physical branches. “We have to be where our customers are.”

Big tech companies are increasingly pushing into finance. Facebook, along with 20 other companies, is working on the Libra stablecoin project. In August, Apple rolled out a credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs.