Google has canceled plans to offer bank accounts to its users, the company confirmed.
In a statement to The Hill, a Google spokesperson said the company is “updating our approach to focus primarily on delivering digital enablement for banks and other financial services providers rather than us serving as the provider of these services."
“We strongly believe that this is the best way for Google to help consumers gain better access to financial services and to help the financial services ecosystem connect more deeply with their customers in a digital environment,” the spokesperson said.
News of the plan was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
According to the Journal, the project was initially supposed to debut last year, but the company cancelled plans after missing several deadlines.
In addition, the Google Pay executive who led the project, Caesar Sengupta, left in April. People familiar with the matter told the Journal that the person who replaced him was concerned that Plex would make banks think Google was trying to compete with them.
Google unveiled plans to offer “Plex accounts” in November. The accounts were to be integrated into mobile payment platform Google Pay.
The accounts would be offered with no monthly fees, overdraft charges or minimum balance requirements from 11 banks and credit unions — including Citigroup.
Citigroup launched its wait list for “Citi Plex” accounts the same day that Google unveiled the accounts. At the time, the company said the account was the bank’s “first ever bundled checking and savings account solutions.”
Citigroup had a wait list of 400,000 people for accounts, the Journal reported.
The Hill has reached out to Citi for comment.
Google’s plans come as other tech companies sought to go into the banking business. Most notably, Apple launched its credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs in 2019.