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Bank at Google?

Analyst says the search giant could become quasi-bank in developing regions.

I know Google is getting into a lot of areas, shaking up the ad industry, moving into the enterprise space with hosted apps (much to Microsoft's chagrin), even betting on wireless and 700MHz spectrum. But banking?

Granted, Google offers Google Checkout as a payment method option to merchants and consumers buying online. And now Google in Malaysia is offering AdSense payments to be made through Western Union, according to the Ades blog That news was noticed by Steve Arnold, author of The Google Legacy and Google Version 2: the Calculating Predator, and pointed out to Bear Stearns analyst Robert Peck.

"We believe that the AdSense system is capable of morphing into a quasi-bank, particularly in regions with less robust monetary systems," Peck wrote in a research note Monday.

Citibank, look out!