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Google may be working on a smart debit card of its own

Google wants to take on the Apple Card.

The web giant is developing its own competition for Apple’s credit card in partnership with a number of different banks, including Stanford Federal Credit Union and CITI bank, according to imagery surrounding Google’s efforts uncovered in a new report from TechCrunch.

Google's forthcoming credit card
Source: TechCrunch Image used with permission by copyright holder

Customers would be able to view their purchases and manage the card straight through the Google Pay app. Google hopes that the new card will become the foundation for Google Pay, according to the report.

Through the app, customers would also be able to dig more deeply into their purchases, seeing where they were made on a map if they want. If a customer loses their card, they can easily lock it from the Google Pay app, and even order a replacement if they want. And, if they think that the virtual card number was stolen, it can also be reset.

Google emailed a statement to Digital Trends confirming some of the report.

“We’re exploring how we can partner with banks and credit unions in the US to offer smart checking accounts through Google Pay, helping their customers benefit from useful insights and budgeting tools, while keeping their money in an FDIC or NCUA-insured account,” the company told us. “Our lead partners today are Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union, and we look forward to sharing more details in the coming months.”

The images show that the card itself will be a chip card built on the Visa network, but it’s possible there could be forms of it on other networks, like Mastercard. The card would then allow users to pay for purchases in-store, while the virtual version of the card would support online payments and tap-to-pay, like Google Pay does now. The card itself may support tap-to-pay too, according to the imagery obtained by TechCrunch.

There are some major differences between Apple’s card and Google’s planned venture.

According to the TechCrunch report, the Google card is ultimately a debit card, and will take funds directly from the user’s bank account. The Apple Card, on the other hand, is a credit card that customers have to be approved for, and that can rack up interest if payments on the card aren’t made.

If Google releases the card, and it gains any steam, it could prove to be very lucrative for the company. So far, the company has largely avoided diving into the financial technology space.

Of course, there are privacy concerns around a Google Card. For example the company could track user transactions, using that data to better advertise to its customers. That, however, will depend on the privacy decisions that the company ultimately makes.

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