News that eight financial institutions have partnered with Google on its forthcoming checking account product shows how urgently banks are responding to tech giants’ push into financial services.
Community bankers surveyed last year said tech giants are a bigger threat to their business models than larger banks. Amazon in particular is stirring up more discussion as mentions of the e-commerce behemoth on industry conference calls has spiked in the past few years.
Amazon’s activity certainly warrants such attention. It has made a multitude of financial services plays in online payments (Amazon Pay), in-store payments (Amazon Go), lending for merchants, credit cards for consumers and virtual cash wallets (Amazon Cash).
This activity aims at facilitating more business on Amazon’s core e-commerce platform, not developing a full-fledged banking offering. In fact, Amazon previously backed away from launching a checking account product that would make it a full bank.
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