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Google will offer checking accounts next year

The tech giant is partnering with Citigroup and a credit union at Stanford University.

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Google is just the latest tech giant to get into financial services.

James Martin/CNET

Google plans to start offering checking accounts to consumers next year. The accounts will be run by Citigroup and a credit union at Stanford University, the tech giant confirmed on Wednesday. 

"Our approach is going to be to partner deeply with banks and the financial system," Google's Caesar Sengupta told The Wall Street Journal, which earlier reported on the company's plans. He added that it may be a longer path, but Google viewed it as "more sustainable."

Consumers will access their Google checking accounts through Google Pay, the company's digital wallet. The tech giant hasn't decided whether checking accounts will charge a fee, Sengupta told the Journal. He added that Google won't sell checking-account users' financial data and that the company doesn't use or share Google Pay data for advertising.

A Google spokesman said its smart checking accounts will let customers benefit from "useful insights and budgeting tools, while keeping their money in an FDIC or NCUA-insured account."

Google is just the latest tech giant to make a push into banking. Apple's new credit card, backed by Mastercard and Goldman Sachs, launched in August. Facebook, meanwhile, is trying to help launch a cryptocurrency called Libra, though it has faced strong pushback from lawmakers and regulators.

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Originally published Nov. 13, 5:39 a.m. PT.
Update, 10:19 a.m.: Adds confirmation and comment from Google.