Google’s pivot away from bank accounts shows why finance is a tough industry for tech giants

Key Points

  • Google is shuttering its bank account product nearly two years after announcing ambitious plans to take on the retail finance industry.
  • One key factor: The new head of the business, Bill Ready, decided that he’d rather develop a digital banking and payments ecosystem instead of competing with banks, according to a person with knowledge of the decision.
  • Google may have ultimately decided it wasn’t worth antagonizing current and prospective customers for its various businesses, including cloud computing, according to a Friday research note from Wells Fargo banking analyst Mike Mayo.

At least one tech giant has decided it’s better to serve banks rather than taking them head on.

Google is shuttering its bank account product nearly two years after announcing ambitious plans to take on the retail finance industry. One key factor: The new head of the business, Bill Ready, decided that he’d rather develop a digital banking and payments ecosystem instead of competing with banks, according to a person with knowledge of the decision.

For the past few years, bank executives and investors have shuddered whenever a tech giant disclosed plans to break into finance. With good reason: Tech giants have access to hundreds of millions of users and their data and a track record for transforming industries like media and advertising.

At least one tech giant has decided it’s better to serve banks rather than taking them head on.

Google is shuttering its bank account product nearly two years after announcing ambitious plans to take on the retail finance industry. One key factor: The new head of the business, Bill Ready, decided that he’d rather develop a digital banking and payments ecosystem instead of competing with banks, according to a person with knowledge of the decision.

For the past few years, bank executives and investors have shuddered whenever a tech giant disclosed plans to break into finance. With good reason: Tech giants have access to hundreds of millions of users and their data and a track record for transforming industries like media and advertising.

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