By Tiffany Houkom, Account Coordinator
Google is a tough competitor, but will Google Wallet be enough to go up against the banks?
As we all know, Google is one of the toughest and most resilient competitors in the digital market. Google’s dominance is due in part to its ability to consistently create highly innovative and quality products and services and in part to its host of loyal supporters and users. Also, Google frequently challenges its competition head-on and develops appealing alternatives to popular preexisting products and services. For example, Google took on Groupon with the introduction of Google Offers, it challenged Yelp with Google Places, and it began directly competing with Facebook by creating Google+. While the success of the latter is yet to be determined, Google’s foray into social networking is far from a failure. Thus, with the introduction of the search engine giant’s mobile payment service, Google Wallet, could Google’s next move be to directly compete with the banking industry?
There has been a decent amount of buzz on the web over the last year concerning the potential benefits of Google becoming a bank. It is important to note that Google already possesses bank-like characteristics. And in 2007 Google obtained a license to provide digital banking services from the Central Bank of the Netherlands. While there is no current evidence that Google is actively pursuing a banking coup, industry writer Dave Davies recently commented on this idea and discussed how such a move could benefit Google, businesses, and consumers in an article titled, “Why Would Google Become a Bank?” Here are some of the top benefits Davies poses:
The ability to track offline conversions: Many businesses currently face the issue of not being able to connect paid ad clicks that eventually lead to offline purchases. Davies suggests the use of Google payment options such as Google Wallet could close this gap. Also, Davies claims that “connecting purchases to users’ Google accounts would give [business owners] access to demographic data based on items purchased.” While this would be a huge advantage for businesses, there is no doubt that privacy concerns could hinder the ability for businesses to gain access to this information.
A better online experience: If Google had access to a consumer’s banking history, it would be able to provide relevant ads based on the types of items the consumer tends to spend money on. This information would improve the average user’s experience, as he or she would be exposed to more relevant ads based on demonstrated interests and spending history. This would also improve click-through-rates for businesses, as pay-per-click ads would appear to a more-relevant and interested audience.
Ease of use: Google’s latest layout redesign allows users to easily access their Plus profile, Gmail account, as well as its search engine. Making it easier to access your social networking profile and email account is one thing, but what if you could also access your bank account and coupons for stores you are likely to spend money at all from Google’s main navigation? Davies also reminds businesses how nice it would be to have “analytics, conversion data, paid search, payment processing, business account, credit cards, email, etc., all available with one login.”
While it is unclear whether Google will ever decide to venture into the banking industry, 90octane recognizes the benefits this would provide for online marketing firms, business owners, and consumers. With the increased trend in banks charging monthly debit card fees, would now be the right time for a large corporation like Google to enter the banking arena? Do you think that privacy concerns would eventually prohibit Google from ever becoming a bank? Let us know your thoughts!