The word Plex may have been a meaningless word yesterday but starting today you can expect to see it pulse throughout news headlines.
That’s because Google is making updates to its Google Pay app and has announced that it has partnered with 11 banks and credit unions to offer a new mobile-first bank account integrated into Google Pay. The tech giant will begin offering these bank accounts, called Plex Accounts, starting next year.
Among those on the list of partner banks and credit unions are:
- Stanford FCU
- Seattle Bank
- The Harbor Bank of Maryland
- State Employees FCU
- Bank of Montreal
- First Independence Bank
- Coastal Community Bank
Plex accounts will offer both checking and savings accounts, will not charge monthly fees, won’t charge for overdrafts, and will not have minimum balance requirements.
Users can download Google Pay to join the waitlist or apply for a Plex account through Citi or Stanford Federal Credit Union, which are pioneering the new accounts.
Google is also revamping its Google Pay app to centralize around relationships. Users can pay and view past transactions in a stream-like interface that is organized around conversations and activity.
Customers can also use Google Pay to find offers and loyalty info on businesses they frequent. In fact, Google has forged merchant partnerships with Burger King, Etsy, REI Co-op, Sweetgreen, Target, and Warby Parker to help users view and activate rewards.
Capitalizing on the embedded finance trend, Google has made multiple purchasing experiences available from within Google Pay. Users can order food at 100,000+ restaurants, buy gas at over 30,000 gas stations, and pay for parking in more than 400 cities– all from within the app.
Google Pay aims to be a hub for three things: paying, saving, and insights. When users connect their bank accounts, Google will provide periodic spending summaries and show trends and insights over time. This will look different from a traditional budgeting interface. Instead of pie charts, the spending insights will focus on bite-sized pieces of information such as how much the user spent over the weekend, or how much they spent at a particular location.
This type of Big Tech bank is something that the fintech community has been talking about for a long time. Will Google’s Plex accounts challenge the challenger banks? I guess we’ll find out in 2021!