Would you pay with a “Google Card?” TechCrunch has obtained imagery that shows Google is developing its own physical and virtual debit cards. The Google card and associated checking account will allow users to buy things with a card, mobile phone or online. It connects to a Google app with new features that let users easily monitor purchases, check their balance or lock their account. The card will be co-branded with different bank partners, including CITI and Stanford Federal Credit Union.
A source provided TechCrunch with the images seen here, as well as proof that they came from Google. Another source confirmed that Google has recently worked on a payments card that its team hopes will become the foundation of its Google Pay app — and help it rival Apple Pay and the Apple Card. Currently, Google Pay only allows online and peer-to-peer payments by connecting a traditionally issued payment card. A “Google Pay Card” would vastly expand the app’s use cases, and Google’s potential as a fintech giant.
Google the financial services company?
By building a smart debit card, Google has the opportunity to unlock new streams of revenue and data. It could potentially charge interchange fees on purchases made with the card or other checking account fees, and then split them with its banking partners. Depending on its privacy decisions, Google could use transaction data on what people buy to improve ad campaign measurement or even targeting. Brands might be willing to buy more Google ads if the tech giant can prove they drive a sales lift.
The long-term implications are even greater. While once the industry joke was that every app eventually becomes a messaging app, more recently it’s been that every tech company eventually becomes a financial services company. A smart debit card and checking accounts could pave the way for Google offering banking, stock brokerage, financial advice or robo-advising, accounting, insurance or lending.
Google’s vast access to data could allow it to more accurately manage risk than traditional financial institutions. Its deep connection to consumers via apps, ads, search and the Android operating system gives it ample ways to promote and integrate financial services. With the COVID-19 downturn taking shape, high-margin finance products could help Google develop efficient revenue opportunities and build its share price back up.
When TechCrunch asked Google for confirmation, it did not dispute our findings or assertions. The company offered us a statement it provided reporters following a November story, wherein Google told The Wall Street Journal it was experimenting in the checking account space. TechCrunch is the first to report Google’s debit card plans:
We’re exploring how we can partner with banks and credit unions in the US to offer smart checking accounts through Google Pay, helping their customers benefit from useful insights and budgeting tools, while keeping their money in an FDIC or NCUA-insured account. Our lead partners today are Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union, and we look forward to sharing more details in the coming months.
For now, Google’s strategy is to let partnered banks and credit unions provide the underlying financial infrastructure and navigate regulation while it builds smarter interfaces and user experiences. It’s forseeable that one day Google might cut out the banks and take all the spoils for itself. Google launched a Wallet debit card in 2013 as an extension of its old payment app Google Wallet, but shut the card down in 2016. Given Google’s penchant for renaming or shutting down then reviving products, building a new debit card feels on-brand.
With people around the world suddenly more concerned about their finances amidst the coronavirus economic disaster, a debit card with more transparency and controls could be appealing.
First look at the Google Card
Traditional banking products can be clunky, often requiring phone communication with customer service or sifting through cluttered websites to address security issues. Google hopes to make financial management as intuitive as its email and mapping apps. The card and app designs shown here are not final, and it’s unclear when Google’s debit card may launch. But let’s take a look at what these internal Google materials reveal about its ambitions for its payment instrument.
The Google debit card will come co-branded with the Google name and its partnered bank, though the exact name of the product is still unknown. In the designs, it’s a chip card on the Visa network, though Google could potentially support other networks like Mastercard. Users are able to add money or transfer funds out of their account from the connected Google app, which is likely to be Google Pay, and use a fingerprint and PIN for account security.
Once connected to their bank or credit union account, users could pay for purchases in retail stores with a physical Google debit card, including with contactless payments, by just holding it up to a card reader. A virtual version of the card that lives on a user’s phone can also be used for Bluetooth mobile payments. Meanwhile, a virtual card number can be used for online or in-app payments.
Users are shown a list of recent transactions, with each including the merchant name, date and price. They can dig into each transaction to see the location on a map, get directions or call the store. If users don’t recognize a transaction, it’s easy to protect themselves with the card’s vast security options.
If a customer suspects foul play because they lost their card, they can lock it and optionally order a replacement while still being able to pay with their phone or online, thanks to Google’s virtual card number system that’s different than the one on their physical card. If instead they suspect their virtual card number was stolen by a hacker, they can quickly reset it. And if they believe someone has gained unauthorized access to their account, they can lock it entirely to block all types of payments and transfers.
The settings reveal options for notifications and privacy controls to “decide what information you share,” though we don’t have imagery of what’s contained in those menus. It’s unclear how much power Google will give customers to limit the company or merchant’s data access. Google’s decisions there could impact how transaction data might fuel its other businesses.
Google is a relative late-comer to offering its own card. Apple launched its Apple Card in August, offering a slickly designed titanium Mastercard credit card backed by Goldman Sachs. It charges minimal customer fees, comes with a virtual card for use through Apple Pay and generates interest.
Apple does collect interchange fees from merchants, though, which Google could similarly gather to earn revenue. Last month, Apple changed the Card’s privacy settings to share more data with Goldman Sachs that might also help the two provide additional financial services. Apple Pay now accounts for 5% of global card transactions, and is forecast to hit 10% by 2024, according to Bernstein research. The underlines the gigantic market Google is gunning for here.
The stock brokerage and robo-advisor apps have also joined the payments race. Wealthfront launched cash accounts and debit cards last February, bringing in $1 billion in assets in two months and doubling the company’s total holdings to $20 billion by September. Betterment launched its checking product in October 2019 with a Visa debit card, but it doesn’t generate interest.
Robinhood botched the December 2018 launch of its checking accounts due to ineligible insurance, but relaunched in October 2019 with debit card withdrawls from 75,000 ATMs and a solid interest rate. It’s unclear how Google’s card will work with ATMs or how its checking accounts will generate interest.
The appeal for Google and the rest is clear. It seems whenever companies help move people’s money around, some of it inevitably “falls off the truck” and lands in their pockets. Financial services are typically low-overhead ways to generate revenue. That could be especially enticing, as Google has found many of its side hustle “other bets” to be unsustainable. It’s moved to prune some of these tertiary projects, such as its Makani wind energy kites.
Google may never find businesses as lucrative as its core in search and advertising, but it has the advantages to become a serious player in fintech. Its vast sums of cash, deep bench of engineering talent, experience building complex utilities, numerous consumer touch points and near-bottomless well of data could give it an edge over stodgier old banks and scrappier startups. And while Facebook slams into regulatory scrutiny and is forced to scale back its Libra cryptocurrency, Google’s more familiar approach via debit cards could pay off.
Large, Luxury Penthouse in Miami Sells for $22 Million in Crypto
One of America’s most luxurious penthouses just sold for more than $22 million – and the deal was completely finalized through cryptocurrency. The home consists of four bedrooms and is located within a condo building known as Arte by Antonio Citterio, which is situated in Miami Beach, Florida and designed by real estate developers Alex Sapir and Giovanni Fasciano.
Miami Real Estate and Crypto… A Perfect Match?
While crypto-real estate deals have been occurring over the past seven years, they are not common in any way, shape, or form. Typically, in America, all deals close through USD, but both Sapir and Fasciano expressed their excitement over the event and said in a recent interview that they always felt real estate and crypto went hand in hand… It was just a matter of time before people realized that, and as a result, they have consistently been open to homebuyers looking to pay their way with digital currency.
Sapir explains that there were several offers made on the residence, many of which would have also been done with crypto. He explained:
There is a strong, pent-up demand for cryptocurrency transactions that are seamless and secure for both parties, and the deal at Arte is a prime example of that. We were overwhelmed by the amount of calls we received from qualified buyers just after announcing our ability to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions. Real-world crypto transactions have not made their way fully into the mainstream yet, so it is quite clear top holders around the world pay attention when new opportunities to transact open up.
Fasciano says that with this sale, he has no doubt Miami could become a leader in crypto-based real estate sales, and he is hopeful that this will attract more digital investors to the housing mix. He says:
We are making Miami real estate history with this sale, as we were the first new development to facilitate this kind of cryptocurrency transaction, and to do so successfully so quickly after announcing. Cryptocurrency is the future of wealth, and we believe this is only the beginning. Arte has set the precedent for what these sales can look like and how fast they can take place. We are proud to have laid the groundwork for this new, burgeoning world.
Why Crypto Works Well
Sapir further stated what it was that inspired them both to accept crypto in the first place:
When we first set out to develop a boutique, resort-style oceanfront condominium for only 16 owners, no one had ever heard of anything so luxe and at such a small scale in Miami. It did not deter us, and we wanted to get ahead of a future world where half the world’s billionaires could have easily made their wealth from cryptocurrency. The quick sale of the Lower Penthouse at $22.5 million proves the success of the concept.
Ripple execs file new motion – What does it mean for their XRP sales contention?
The ongoing lawsuit filed by the SEC against Ripple Labs and its execs is showing no signs of slowing down or ending anytime soon. Ripple’s latest defense now challenges the SEC’s jurisdictional authority over the exchanges that Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen sold XRP to. As a matter of fact, the SEC, in its amended complaint, sought disgorgement for the two billion units of XRP sold by the execs on digital asset trading platforms located outside the U.S.
The individual defendants in the case have filed a motion seeking the court’s approval to request documents from over a dozen digital currency exchanges located “all over the world.” By doing so, the defendants want to establish that the XRP sales they made were beyond the jurisdiction of the regulatory agency. The individual defendants also argued in their motion that Section 5 of the Securities Act only applies to “domestic” sales and offers of securities.
Justifying the ultimate reason behind their international discovery request, their motion noted,
“The evidence to be obtained from the digital asset trading platforms is probative of the issue whether “irrevocable liability” was incurred outside the US with respect to these transactions.”
The third parties in question here include prominent exchange platforms like Upbit, Korbit, Huobi, Coinone, and Bitstamp. Additionally, the defendants’ letter stated,
“We understand that the Plaintiff, the Securities and Exchange Commission, does not object to this motion.”
With this motion, the defendants have requested the court to issue the attached letters of request for international judicial assistance and compel the aforementioned entities to produce documents. Here, it should be noted that the Court has the authority to request any competent authority of another state to obtain evidence. This motion is quite important for the defendants because it has the potential to provide them with concrete evidence before the close of fact discovery.
The Letters of Request to the entities seeks the assistance of the Central Authorities of Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, the U.K, Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, Malta, and Northern Ireland to obtain documents relevant to the case that are otherwise unobtainable through other means from the entities.
“The Individual Defendants seek foreign discovery on the basis of their good faith belief that the listed entities possess unique documents and information concerning this case.”
According to the aforementioned motion, the entities could potentially produce evidence that specifically dealt with the transactions of XRP on their respective foreign digital trading platforms.
“There is good cause for the Court to issue the Letters of Request. The information sought in the document requests is narrowly tailored to obtain relevant information related to the case.”
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Analyzing ideal buy-entries for Ethereum, Cardano, Dogecoin for the next 24 hours
The cryptocurrency market might potentially be amidst another weekend correction. In a previous article, we analyzed whether there is an actual correlation between market dumps and the weekends. Multiple assets are shaky on the charts at the moment, and that includes the likes of Ethereum, Cardano, Dogecoin, among others. Keeping the notion of recovery in mind, we tried to identify a potential buy-range for these altcoins in order to maximize profits out of the dire situation at hand.
(Note: The analysis has been solely done from an analytical and fundamental point of view. It does not accommodate the possibility of any flash crashes)
Ethereum – Re-visiting the $2100s?
Ethereum, at the time of writing, was at a price range last seen towards the end of May 30th. The valuation was near the $2300 range, something that opens up the possibility for a couple of situations,
i) A bounceback from the support range of $2310-$2180
ii) Ideal re-test of Demand Zone at $2100-$1750
One of the reasons why the aforementioned support range could get invalidated is the fact that it has been tested before on 8th June. Now, while the Demand Zone has a wide range, it would be better for the asset to not close under $1880, which is a critical level and weekly support.
Hence, setting up buy entries between $2100-$1900 remains ideal, while cutting losses under $1880 if the market goes further south.
ETH’s trading volume ($27.6 billion) was also a clear indication that the market is adequate for recovery, but its social volumes have significantly dropped. And yet, historically, this level has acted as a point of reversal.
Dogecoin – Another free fall?
Dogecoin lacked a definite support range based on past price action. Coincidentally, its present price range has only been its bounceback level in the past. Now, presenting DOGE’s demand zone is more chaotic than other assets because its charts paint more of a flash-crash situation.
And yet, the ideal demand zone or buy range for the meme coin remains between $0.218-$0.184. A collapse below $0.184 should be directly met with sell-orders to cut losses, as the price could potentially meet its weekly support at $0.087.
One thing that makes it worrisome for Dogecoin to touch its demand zone is the lack of volumes. There might be no pullback considering the strength of trading activity was falling to its minimal range for the year 2021.
However, from a development point of view, its ecosystem has had more activity than ever before, which is a huge positive from a fundamental and long-term point of view. Overall, it is more ideal to set up entries after it bounces back from the Demand Zone than now while it is consolidating in it.
Cardano – Better not touch $1?
For Cardano, there remains a definite Support Range and Demand Zone. Just like Ether, it re-tested the support range of $1.40-$1.33. Unlike ETH, ADA’s support zone is stronger. Yet, strong corrections should mean meeting the demand zone between $1.17 and $1.05. Unlike other assets, it is imperative ADA remains above the Critical Level of $1 because it has maintained a position above this range since the beginning of February.
While Cardano had low trading volumes, it didn’t seem to be beyond salvation. Market momentum may switch up activity levels very quickly. However, it is essential to keep note of its low social dominance as only 2.36% of the ecosystem is talking about Cardano at the moment. Fundamentals are still strong for ADA, however. Ergo, buying within the demand zone should be fruitful.
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