Google received its EU payments authorisation via Ireland’s central bank but which will allow the tech giant to provide financial services across Europe.
Google can now issue and acquire payments across the EU under passporting rights. It currently offers financial services through the Google Wallet, but the authorisation must mean more Google financial services are on the way.
But what will this mean for consumers, businesses and Google itself? It has always been accepted that Google will work with banks and the like with services to support them and that Google Bank would not materialise. But this could change and authorisations from regulators could fuel this.
A few years ago in its Why Google Bank Won’t Happen report, Forrester said the high costs and strict regulation of setting up a traditional bank – alongside advertising revenue coming from banks – will push internet firms into roles that support the relationship between banks and their customers. These include transactional payment services, financial advice, money management and product comparisons. “[Google] will be by integrating digital assets such as its search engine, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Play, and Google Now that Google could redefine financial services. Thanks to these capabilities, Google is well positioned to disrupt four interlinked areas, disintermediating incumbents in the process,” said the research.
Google is always held up as the ultimate fintech with Google bank a concept that has been extensively covered and the authorisation of Google could signal major disruption for existing suppliers.
Google reportedly said of the payments authorisation in Ireland: “We are constantly working to support our customers in Europe. We have applied for a payment licence in Ireland as part of these efforts, in addition to ongoing discussions relating to projects all around Europe.”
I am going to write an analysis and I hope to dig into what Google could do, but I would like to ask the question first and invite people to comment. Please leave your comments below and get a debate going.