Money·3 min read

What a Google Checking Account Could Mean for Your Wallet

November 13, 2019

When it rains financial products, it pours. Apparently. Big tech has been doubling down on the whole money thing lately. Think: Amazon Cash, Apple Card, Facebook’s Libra. Now, Google plans to get (more) involved. By partnering with banks and credit unions to offer checking accounts. Here’s what that could mean for your wallet.

You miiight pay less to stash your cash. When you have more choices, companies have to fight for your biz. So prices tend to drop. The big G says they haven't decided whether they’ll charge fees for their accounts yet. But suiting up and getting in the banking game could pressure competitors to rethink their prices either way. 

  • Psst...Banks typically charge about $10 a month for a checking account. Free ones do exist, but you usually have to set up direct deposit or keep a certain amount in there to qualify. 

And you could get discounts on other stuff, too. Google says their checking account will come with perks. Like budgeting tools and loyalty programs. Some experts think they’ll have to go even further to attract users. Meaning you might get a coupon code for a smart thermostat or a free month of mobile data for signing up. 

But you could be tempted to spend more. Users would access their accounts through the Google Pay mobile wallet. Since smartphone payments make it easier to spend, you could end up buying more. 

And even though they pinky promise not to share your financial data with advertisers, some people – like the ones that are already investigating Google’s parent co, Alphabet, for antitrust violations – might not be into the idea of sharing so much personal info with one org. Because Google probably already knows your search history, location, and maybe more if you’ve ever used Gmail or Google+. 

Your portfolio will probably notice. Even if you’ve never bought Alphabet stock individually, your investments can feel the effects of any major moves they make. That’s because it’s a big part of lots of mutual funds and ETFs you might own. Including ones that track major indexes like the S&P 500.  

Related: theSkimm on Investing

theSkimm: Google wants to be your new bank. But regulators who think they’re playing a rigged game of Monopoly may have something to say about it. No matter what happens, you should always search for the best account for you. (Sorry.)

PS: GV (formerly Google Ventures) is a minority investor in theSkimm.

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