Big tech companies, such as Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, view financial services as a way to learn more about users and an opportunity to reap valuable data.

Amazon is in talks with banks about offering similar checking accounts.

Reuters »

Alphabet Inc’s Google will offer personal checking accounts from sometime next year in partnership with Citigroup Inc and a small credit union at Stanford University, a person familiar with Google’s plans said on Wednesday.

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“Our approach is going to be to partner deeply with banks and the financial system,” Caesar Sengupta, general manager and vice-president of payments at Google, told the Journal in an interview.

Darrell Etherington, writing for TechCrunch »

So why even bother getting into this game if it’s leaving a lot of the actual banking to traditional financial institutions? Well, Google obviously stands to gain a lot of valuable information and insight on customer behavior with access to their checking account, which for many is a good picture of overall day-to-day financial life. Google says it’s also intending to offer product advantages for both consumers and banks, including things like loyalty programs, on top of the basic financial services. It’s also still considering whether or not it’ll charge service fees, per Segupta – not doing so would definitely be and advantage over most existing checking accounts available.

More » Wall Street Journal, 9to5Google, Engadget