Leaks suggest Google is working on an Apple Card rival

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Google and Citigroup are teaming up to offer checking account services.
Image: Cody DeBos / The Burn-In

Wading into the world of fintech is the trendy thing to do for Big Tech firms. Although Apple was hardly the first company to do so, its Apple Card has popularized the movement. More than 3.1 million Americans carry a credit card branded with the Apple logo in their pocket (or digital wallet).

With that being said, it’s only a matter of time until other companies hop on the trend. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Google is close behind. New leaks suggest that the firm is working on a financial offering of its own to serve as the cornerstone of the Google Pay ecosystem.

Bringing Digital Into the World

Google isn’t a company known for missing out on opportunities. When it isn’t pioneering the latest trends in tech, it quickly follows with a product of its own. In many cases, that offering turns out to be better than the original.

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Whether the same will be true for the allegedly forthcoming Google card remains to be seen.

According to an anonymous source that spoke to TechCrunch, the card will be available in both physical and digital formats—just like the Apple Card. It will be backed by several big-name traditional banks, including Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union. Those aware of the Apple Card’s finer points remember that it is backed by Goldman Sachs.

The partnership between Google and Citi shouldn’t come as a surprise. Back in November 2019, The Burn-In reported that the two were teaming up for a checking account offering. Now, the details are a bit clearer. It appears that the banking product will actually be a debit-style card that allows consumers to make purchases online and in-store.

Completing the Ecosystem

For anyone who doesn’t have an iPhone, Google Pay has quickly risen to the top of the mobile payments game. It offers convenient contactless payments through a smartphone at physical retail locations and gives users a faster way to checkout when shopping online.

Currently, consumers are able to add their own credit cards from a variety of banks and use them to complete transactions. Adding its own card to the mix will help Google fully convert users to its Google Pay ecosystem. Not only will it make checkouts seamless, it also eliminates the bugs that can occur when linking third-party accounts.

Like the Apple Card, the rumored Google card will come with a variety of bonus features. Since it links within the Google Pay app, users will be able to see analytics about their spending at a glance. The card will likely let you track your shopping habits over time.

According to a screenshot from TechCrunch, it may even allow users to see their purchases overlaid on a map. That would be a particularly nice feature for anyone trying to determine if they’re a victim of credit card fraud. Forget what you purchased? Check out where it took place and easily see if it was you or not.

As of now, details about the Google card are scarce—if that is indeed its real name. It appears that Google is eyeing a 2020 release date for the card so more information should soon follow. Stay tuned to The Burn-In for the latest news about Google’s venture into fintech and other happenings across the wider tech sphere.

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