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Google to offer checking accounts next year - source

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By Reuters
Google to offer checking accounts next year - source
FILE PHOTO: An illuminated Google logo is seen inside an office building in Zurich, Switzerland December 5, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann   -   Copyright  Arnd Wiegmann(Reuters)

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s <GOOGL.O> Google will offer personal checking accounts from sometime next year in partnership with Citigroup Inc <C.N> and a small credit union at Stanford University, a source familiar with Google’s plans said on Wednesday.

The details of the project, named Cache, were first reported by the Wall Street Journal and follow moves by tech heavyweights Apple Inc <AAPL.O> and Facebook Inc <FB.O> into the financial industry this year.

Facebook’s plan to launch the “Libra” digital coin has met with a chorus of scepticism from regulators, worried about money laundering and the security of transactions and user data.

But there are also broader concerns about how the big tech companies’ will use their massive digital influence in other areas of business and economic infrastructure.

“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.

“It may be the slightly longer path, but it’s more sustainable,” Sengupta was quoted as saying in the report.

On Tuesday, Facebook also launched a unified payment service through which users across its platforms can make payments without exiting the app, named Facebook Pay, which is separate from its Libra project.

(Reporting by Neha Malara and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Patrick Graham)