Google kills plans for integrated Pay bank accounts before they even launch

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Google Pay ultimately won’t get these Plex accounts


Google’s plans last year to create a branded banking service may never materialize. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is abandoning “Plex”, its multi-bank approach to integrate financial services more directly into the redesigned Google Pay. The company was working with several partner banks to provide the accounts with certain standardized feature sets and deep integration into services such as Pay, coupled with other customer-centric features, such as no overdraft or no monthly fees. However, no actual release date has ever been set for Plex, and the project has reportedly been scrapped.

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Citing the usual “people familiar with the matter”, explanations for Plex’s downfall apparently include lost payments, with Cesar Sengupta, who was heavily involved in it. But even outside of the executive level, the Google Pay team has apparently had a pretty tough couple of months, with lower-level employees fleeing the division after the app reimagined last year and the service didn’t have it. impression or adoption expected by customers.

In fact, we liked the redesigned service when we tried it out last year, and the new features like scanning emails and Google Photos receipts were both unique and super convenient. However, Google Pay remains a small player in the larger space of contactless payments. A study last year by Pulse Network (which is part of the Discover card) claimed it only made up 3% of the market.

Plex was intended to build on the overall experience by offering deeper banking integration than the existing Plaid service provided, including benefits such as the ability to silo money for specific goals and set expense and deposit alerts, all with no overdraft or monthly service charges. Since last year’s announcement, Plex has been on a waiting list through partners such as Citi and Stanford FCU.

Google had planned to offer Plex accounts through at least nine partner banks at one time, and according to the Wall Street Journal, some of them were unaware the project had been canceled. Many of the banks participating in the program were smaller, and some, like Citigroup, would have been excited by the prospect and had around 400,000 people on the waiting list to try it out. Unfortunately for them, it looks like Plex isn’t happening after all.


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