Google is taking on the Apple Card with its very own Google Card, according to reports – giving you a physical debit card connected to your Google Pay account that you can use in the normal way online or in stores.
TechCrunch has obtained imagery and other details about the Google Card from its sources, and explains how an app linked to the card will let users track purchases, look up their balance, or lock their card if it gets lost or stolen.
You might remember Google tried this before with the Google Wallet card, that lasted from 2013 to 2016. Well, it looks like it's going to try again.
This is apparently part of a bigger Google push into financial services, another potential revenue stream – money might be made off transaction fees or even off banking or stock apps in the future.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Google didn't add any extra information but did say it was “exploring” partnerships with banks and credit unions in the US. That's undoubtedly where the Google Card would launch first, though other countries could then follow.
It matches up with a report from the Wall Street Journal last November that suggested Google was looking at making a move into financial services beyond what it already offers customers with Google Pay.
At the moment Google Pay can be used from a phone, via a Wear OS smartwatch or on the web, but it needs to be connected to a debit or credit card from a real bank. Now it looks as though Google might want to be the bank too.
The Apple Card and its associated app was launched last November, giving users an opportunity to deal with Apple directly (though it's Goldman Sachs and Mastercard that provide the underpinning finance in partnership with Apple).