Google, currently under anti-trust investigations by US Congress, isn’t letting that scrutiny slow them down. Having tried and failed to make Google Pay (formerly Android Pay) adoption take off, they’re going to partner with banks to build online banking portals.
Online banking sucks. Banks are terrible at making websites. Companies that have tried to fix it like Simple end up being beholden to their larger banking parters.
Or banks just contract out and get their desktop Web site shoe-horned into a mobile app, badly. Which generally sucks, but again, what do you expect? Banks suck at this.
It’s a big move for Google to step in and take over making mobile banking portals, but who knows – maybe they’ll actually make a banking experience that isn’t both depressing and maddening at the same time.
There are 8 banks involved in this partnership so far: Bank of Montreal (BMO)’s US division, BBVA USA, Citi, Stanford Federal Credit Union, Coastal Community Bank, First Independence Bank and SEFCU.
The banks weren’t going to make their own portals or apps – buying from Google is no different to them than buying from whoever they were going to use for their portal anyway.
For Google, it’s more meaningful – they now have new partners they can tightly integrate Google Pay with. Of course, they were already doing business with some of them, like BBVA, BMO Harris, and Citi.
Many pundits have said precisely nothing is going to come of the antitrust hearings in Congress, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing Google down at all. Amassing payments partnerships is one thing – taking over the whole interface for the banks means customers interact with Google more than their bank.