15 April 2020
Google appears to be planning to launch a debit card, though looking at the current scenario which is impacted by COVID-19, it is hard to tell when exactly Google will dive into financial opportunities.
Techcrunch has managed to obtain a bunch of images of this alleged debit card from a source and shared it with the world. While it is not yet shown, it is certain that the debit card will come co-branded with the Google name and its partnered bank. According to the report that Techcrunch has made by citing its only source, Google will partner with CITI and Stanford Federal Credit Union. These are the names of the first two financial institutions that have come to notice and going forward, Google may have more banks to add.
The report states, for now, Google’s strategy is to let the partnered banks and credit unions provide the underlying financial infrastructure and navigate regulation while it handles the other aspects, like building smarter interfaces and user experiences. The report also points out that unlike the cluttered environment of traditional financial institutions, Google’s take will make the whole process more intuitive just like its suite of apps.
Looking at the design which is not yet finalized, the alleged debit card has a chip on the Visa network, though in future Google may start to support other networks like Mastercard as well. Users will be able to add money or control other aspects of the transaction and maintain their purchase history with the help of the connected Google app, which is likely to be Google Pay. Fingerprint and PIN would be used as additional security mediums while you make a purchase using the card on Google Pay.
Once connected to their bank or credit union account, users could pay for the purchase in retail stores with contactless payment and a physical Google debit card as well. As per the report, a virtual version of the card saved on a user’s phone can also be used for Bluetooth-supported mobile payments. And, needless to say, the same can be used for in-app purchases as well.
The bunch of images shared with Techcrunch also includes screenshots of the connected app from where you can control your purchases. As per the images, a list of recent transactions is shown in the app, with each including the merchant name, date, and price. They can dig further to see the location on a map, get directions, or call the store.
Techcrunch’s report puts more important details forward, including the fact that if the customers lost their card, they can apply for a replacement and meanwhile do transactions online using their phones, thanks to Google’s virtual card number system that’s different than the one on their physical card.
“If instead they suspect their virtual card number was stolen by a hacker, they can quickly reset it. And if they believe someone has gained unauthorized access to their account, they can lock it entirely to block all types of payments and transfers.”
With all such details being so handy, it is foreseeable that the new Google debit card with the support of the connected app is becoming a great success. Google is clearly giving more transparency and controls to the users compared to the traditional financial companies that are more or less offer a big pain. Traditional banking products/services offer a tedious job to handle things around your accounts and purchases. Annoying customer services and phone communications with them, unmanaged websites with security concerns are some of the factors where Google could take advantage and eventually excel.