Would You Like to Set Google As Your Default Financial Institution? | Bank Innovation

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Consumers can now use their Google credentials to make online and mobile payments via a stored credit card.

The tech giant unveiled the tool yesterday, during its annual I/O developer conference in Mountain View, Calif. The service will act very muchlike a regular mobile wallet–of which there are an abundance– with users to soon start noticing a Pay With Google button across various sites.

For now, the service is linked to a user’s credit card, but not for long (at least for European users), Daniel Döderlein, CEO for payments systems provider Auka, told Bank Innovation.  “Once Google’s able to go to direct to account they will cut out the cards companies and to some extent, the bank,” he said. “The bank will remain as a holding account of course, but won’t benefit from having ownership of the process.”

The second Directive on Payment Services (PSD2) regulation is slanted to take effect in Jan. 2018. Once the law goes into effect, companies like Google or Facebook will begin asking consumers for a permission to access their account information and to initiate payments on their behalf, according to Döderlein:

So think of Venmo: if there was a service like Venmo, but which would also give you a holistic view of your entire economy, including all of your bank accounts, and other financial apps, customers would definitely be drawn to it. And it’s exactly where Google is going. Just like Google asks users now “Would you like to set Chrome as your default browser?” it will soon ask “Would you like Google to be your default view into financials?”

Google is only “dipping its toes” in the banking infrastructure, Döderlein said, but banks should take notes. “It will be all about who has the stickiest customer interfaces, and who has the most user engagement — Google and Facebook certainly do,” while banks are at risk of becoming a backed infrastructure, he added. “Engagement is what sells financial products, not holding checking accounts.”

While this “threat” is more imminent in Europe, FIs in the U.S. will soon be affected as well, Döderlein predicts.

“Google, Facebook, and WeChat – they are all global, and consumers are interacting with the cross-border services that these companies provide,” he said. “As U.S. consumers gravitate more towards these services, an API-based banking model will force itself into U.S. retail banking as well.”

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