Google extends its financial services reach

Google plans to introduce a service enabling account holders to receive and pay bills with Gmail instead of paying on suppliers’ websites

Google is planning to introduce a service that will enable people to receive and pay bills via Gmail rather than paying on a suppliers’ website.

According to a report on re/code, the planned service will be called Pony Express.

Re/code reported that it had seen a document said to reveal the service. The website said Google's Pony Express payment service is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Google is spreading its wings with a range of financial services. In February 2015, Google launched a free mortgage calculator to let consumers compare mortgages from different lenders. Google is also expected to launch a payments application programming interface (API) – Android Pay – at its I/O conference in May 2015.

Internet giants will not try to replace banks, but will disrupt the sector through other services that take consumers away from traditional banks, according to analyst firm Forrester.

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Support services suited to tech firms

While the likes of Google are unlikely to offer traditional banking services – such as accounts, loans and mortgages – some peripheral capabilities are suited to their expertise.

In its Why Google Bank Won’t Happen report, Forrester said the high costs and strict regulation of setting up a traditional bank – as well as the lucrative advertising revenues coming from banks – will push internet firms into roles that support, rather than replace, the relationship between banks and their customers. 

These roles could include transactional payment services, financial advice, money management and product comparisons. "Google’s reputation as one of the most disruptive firms in the market has left many digital financial services executives worried about a potential new rival: Google Bank," said Forrester analyst Oliwia Berdak.

Here are six IT companies, including Google, that are shaking up retail banking.

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