Google is building an Apple Card rival

Google Card Debit Card
Google Card Debit Card (Image credit: TechCrunch)

What you need to know

  • Google is working on its own branded payment card.
  • This card will be a debit card, powered by Google Pay and backed by more conventional financial institutions.
  • Google says that it'll have more to share in the coming months.

Google has made a name for itself in building smarter experiences for consumers in products ranging from maps to music to video. Now it wants to do so with banking. In the wake of the Apple Card, a new report indicates that Google is working on its own branded payment card.

TechCrunch broke the report today, saying:

The Google card and associated checking account will allow users to buy things with a card, mobile phone or online. It connects to a Google app with new features that let users easily monitor purchases, check their balance or lock their account. The card will be co-branded with different bank partners, including CITI and Stanford Federal Credit Union.A source provided TechCrunch with the images seen here, as well as proof that they came from Google. Another source confirmed that Google has recently worked on a payments card that its team hopes will become the foundation of its Google Pay app — and help it rival Apple Pay and the Apple Card. Currently, Google Pay only allows online and peer-to-peer payments by connecting a traditionally issued payment card. A "Google Pay Card" would vastly expand the app's use cases, and Google's potential as a fintech giant.

This Google Pay Card, if released, will be distinct from the Apple Card which is a credit card. It's also different from the old Google Wallet Card, though it's clear to see how comparisons might be drawn.

TechCrunch notes:

Google's strategy is to let partnered banks and credit unions provide the underlying financial infrastructure and navigate regulation while it builds smarter interfaces and user experience.

In other words, what Google is bringing to the table is the same smarts it brings to everything else. In a post-COVID-19 world, it also makes sense that people would be more interested in keeping a handle on their finances rather than opening new lines of credit.

While Google didn't confirm the report, it told TechCrunch it was "exploring how we can partner with banks and credit unions in the US to offer smart checking accounts through Google Pay."

Would you buy into a Google Pay Card? Let us know in the comments below.

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Michael Allison