Google withdrew from launching Plex, which would offer banking services to its users, according to a report published by The Wall Street Journal on Friday (01). The departure of an executive overseeing the proposal, as well as a series of supposedly missed deadlines, would have contributed to the demise of the plans.
In 2020, Big Tech announced a partnership with the Citibank group and Stanford Federal Credit Union to offer Mastercard debit card-enabled savings accounts without monthly fees, which could be requested directly through Google Pay.
In a statement to the Engadget website, a Google spokesman said that the company, rather than offering banking services directly, will focus on “providing digital capability for banks and other providers”.
The waiver joins a long list of other Google products that have been canceled or discontinued, such as the Home Max speaker, Clips camera and Google+.
Bigs Techs and Digital Banks
The Google Plex account had good take-up, with more than 400,000 users on the waiting list. In a survey conducted by Cornerstone Advisors in December, nearly one in five consumers said they would have opened an account if the app were launched. Among Apple Pay and Google Pay users, 33% said they would open an account.
Despite the demand, most tech giants have had to back down from their plans in the digital banking market. Amazon reportedly started a project in 2018, which has yet to come off the ground, while Uber abandoned a similar idea after the departure of executive Peter Hazlehurst last year.
The only exception is Apple. In 2019, the company launched a credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs bank. The Apple Card allows you to split the payment for an iPhone in up to 24 interest-free installments and brings benefits for those who use the payment method to purchase branded products and services.