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Google Abandons Plans for Plex User Bank Accounts

Google has jettisoned its plan to offer bank accounts to its users, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday (Oct. 1).

A Google spokeswoman said the company is shifting its focus to “delivering digital enablement for banks and other financial services providers rather than us serving as the provider of these services.”

According to sources, the tech giant decided to pull the plug on the project due to missed deadlines, along with the departure earlier this year of a Google Pay executive who had backed the bank account plan.

Read more: Google Pay Exec Caesar Sengupta Plans April Exit

That executive, Caesar Sengupta, helped launch Google Pay in India and led its relaunch in the U.S. to give users more options and control over their transactions. As PYMNTS reported at the time, that move was part of a larger strategy for introducing checking and savings accounts.

Google had previously announced that Google Pay digital wallet users would be able to open checking accounts and debit cards at a few different financial institutions (FIs), including Citigroup.

These so-called Plex accounts, which were initially planned to debut last year, would sync with Google Pay — carrying Google and bank branding — and offer a digital dashboard showing users their spending and saving patterns. The idea was to give users a new banking method focused on simplicity and fiscal health, with no overdraft or monthly fees.

Last year, Citigroup announced it was working with Mastercard as network partners on the Plex savings and checking accounts.

Read more: Citi Partners With Mastercard for Google Pay Plex Accounts

On Friday (Oct. 1), the bank said it plans to pitch other accounts to customers on its Plex waiting list, and will seek other ways to work with Google moving forward. Citigroup had been adding roughly 10,000 potential account holders to that waiting list each week. As of Friday, there were approximately 400,000 people waiting for a Google bank account.

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