Google Pay the digital wallet launched by Google in Jan. 2018, will be expanding its services, now that Google has partnered with six other banks, namely: BankMobile, BMO Harris, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) USA, First Independence Bank, Coastal Community Bank,, and State Employees Federal Credit Union ()SEFCU) NYS.
Through these banks Google Pay will be able to offer users, digital savings and checking accounts beginning 2021. The six banks will be collaborating with Citigroup and Stanford Federal Credit Union with whom Google entered into agreements last November 2019, as support for the expansion of Google Pay’s payment processing services.
Google initially started out as an online payment processor that users of Android-supported smart devices can utilize when paying for apps and in-app purchases at the Google Play store. The payment processing solutions later expanded to include digital payment services for online purchases such as movie/theater tickets, event tickets, public transport boarding passes,coupons, student ID cards, event tickets, movie tickets, loyalty cards, store cards, which is just to name a few.
Google will be responsible for developing the digital banking system supporting the front-end user experiences. Bank partners on the other hand, will handle the servicing of the Google Pay deposit accounts, including guaranteeing deposit accounts through the coverage provided by their Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) accreditation.
What Makes Google Different from Neobanks
Neobanks, are the Internet-based or online banks introduced by fintechs to provide digital and mobile financial services like online payments, money transfers, lending and deposit accounts. Although neobanks are also in partnership with licensed banking institutions, they carry their own brand of services rather than co-brand with their bank partners.
Unlike neobanks, Google Pay a.k.a. G-Pay, will co-brand its services with partner banks who will undertake to service accounts of G-Pay user accounts using Google’s tech capabilities. G-Pay partner banks therefore, will have greater visibility and increased chances of growing their deposit base.
The move actually puts the neobanks at a disadvantage because G-Pay will be offering a more reliable platform not for only for online or Internet-based financial services, but also for maintaining checking and saving deposit accounts prominently backed by FDIC coverage. After all, neobanks still have to prove their reliability when it comes to offerings of deposit services, an edge they claim to have over other leading e-wallet providers like PayPay and Payoneer.