Once considered an industry joke, this statement is slowly becoming a reality. Recent reports highlighted that Google in partnership with CITI and Stanford Federal Credit Union is testing its own Google-branded smart debit card (a Visa card which will expand to other payment processors like MasterCard) that will help customers make and track purchases made online and in stores.
This move into the fintech space is not exactly new to the brand as Google launched a Wallet debit card in 2013 as an extension of its old payment app Google Wallet but shut the card down in 2016. However, there may be better chances of success this time, considering the following- Apples’ success with its credit card, people’s acceptance of software companies offering payment services and Google’s vast access to data which could allow it to accurately manage risks more efficiently than traditional financial institutions.
Google is experimenting in the checking account space according to the Wall Street Journal’s Peter Rudegeair and Liz Hoffman: “We’re exploring how we can partner with banks and credit unions in the US to offer smart checking accounts through Google Pay, helping their customers benefit from useful insights and budgeting tools, while keeping money in an FDIC or NCUA-insured account.”
With the debit card, users are able to add money or transfer funds out of their account from their connected Google app and use a fingerprint and PIN for account security. Once connected to their bank or credit union account, users could pay for purchases in retail stores with a physical Google debit card or with contactless payments by just holding it up to a card reader. A virtual version of the card that lives on a user’s phone can also be used for Bluetooth mobile payment and a virtual number can be used for online or in-app payments.
(READ MORE: Google building its own debit card)
This development from Google could be the beginning of a clear cut relationship with financial service providers and its customers seeing as the Big tech company already has a deep connection to consumers via apps, ads, search and with the Android operating system giving it more than a few ways to promote as well as integrate financial services. People around the world are being a lot more concerned about their finances amid the covid-19 pandemic, a debit card with more transparency and controls could be welcomed.
Big Tech companies eventually evolve into finance but why?
- Every company strives to better serve their consumers. Acknowledging this need and leveraging platform strategies through the integration of data, analytics and delivery platforms reduces friction and expands potential markets beyond what used to be the norm which could be considered more appealing to these consumers.
- These companies have a better chance of generating revenue from their transition into finance without actually becoming banks. Like with Google, they have just added banking and financial services without the headache of getting or maintaining a banking license, instead they will operate with already licensed partners CITI and Stanford Federal Credit Union.
- Big tech could and probably already deliver financial services better, they have the reliable infrastructure and the personalized data to back them after all, giving room to offer lower-cost or possibly free services, since they could use big data obtained through these services for a variety of other businesses.
Worthy of note is how tech in itself is under scrutiny now more than ever, as hackers and cybercriminals create havoc during this time of crisis. If tech companies strive for success and want to avoid the strict regulations and potential political intervention that comes with banking, they should consider the following.
- Pricing: Success in transition may be dependent on setting the right price on all sides of the new business model and building momentum through incentives that can scale easily.
- Trust is imperative when transitioning into finances. Consumers generally question anything and everything that concerns their finances.
- Building platforms in low margin businesses: The frequency of usage will determine your level of profits but it could be a vital element in ensuring success. Financial service providers who have low margins can find relief by offering higher-margin services beyond traditional banking products.
Twitter to establish its first African presence in Ghana
Twitter has announced Ghana as headquarter of its operations in Africa.
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter Inc has announced today in a tweet that the company is establishing a presence in Africa.
“Twitter is now present on the continent. Thank you, Ghana and Nana Akufo-Addo,” Dorsey tweeted.
As part of its mission to serve the public conversation, Twitter is making it easier for everyone to join in and provide more relevant experiences for people across the world.
Why Ghana as a choice…
Twitter stated that it chose to expand to Ghana first because the country is an advocate of free speech, online freedom, and the Open Internet.
In a blog post the company said, “In line with our growth strategy, we’re excited to announce that we are now actively building a team in Ghana. To truly serve the public conversation, we must be more immersed in the rich and vibrant communities that drive the conversations taking place every day across the African continent.”
“Furthermore, Ghana’s recent appointment to host The Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area aligns with our overarching goal to establish a presence in the region that will support our efforts to improve and tailor our service across Africa.
“Whenever we enter new markets, we work hard to ensure that we are not just investing in the talent that we hire, but also investing in local communities and the social fabric that supports them. We have already laid foundations through partnerships with Amref Health Africa in Kenya, Afrochella in Ghana, Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) in Nigeria, and The HackLab Foundation in Ghana. As part of our long-term commitment to the region, we’ll continue to explore compelling ways we can use the positive power of Twitter to strengthen our communities through employee engagement, platform activation, and corporate giving,” Twitter stated.
The company is also looking to hire specialists to join several teams to operate in product, design, engineering, marketing and communications.
The choice of Ghana as HQ for Twitter’s Africa operations is EXCELLENT news. Gov’t and Ghanaians welcome very much this announcement and the confidence reposed in our country. 1/3 #TwitterInGhana #TwitterGhana https://t.co/HdCqFgXK0x
— Nana Akufo-Addo (@NAkufoAddo) April 12, 2021
Reacting to Dorsey’s announcement, Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, in a tweet said that the government and people of Ghana welcome welcomed the micro-blogging site.
“The choice of Ghana as HQ for Twitter’s Africa operations is excellent news. Government and Ghanaians welcome very much this announcement and the confidence reposed in our country,” President Akufo-Addo tweeted.
Youths need critical skills to strengthen Nigerian economy – Bankers Committee’s FITC
Nigerian youths need to embrace adequate skills and create a pool of well-engaged workforce to directly strengthen the nation’s economy.
Bankers Committee’s FITC has called on Nigerian youths to embrace adequate skills and create a pool of well-engaged workforce to directly strengthen the nation’s economy.
This was disclosed by the Managing Director, FITC, Chizor Malize, during the launch of its Future of Work Academy for Youths on Monday.
According to her, the initiative is to continuously bridge the knowledge gap in the country and Africa at large, as it is expected to equip the youths for the peculiar needs of the Future of Work.
It also seeks to solve the prevalent issue of producing university graduates with degrees and skills that have limited practical use in the current global job market, as well as the requirements for the Future of Work.
She said, “The world of work is changing rapidly, and competition for the right talent is fierce. Graduate talents have for decades been primarily identified and employed based on academic excellence, however, in the emerging world of work, creativity, innovation, and work-ready skills have become the non-negotiable indicators for competitive advantage, and to evaluate capabilities.
“It is therefore important for youths to build critical skills, that will equip them for the requirements of the Future of Work in the ever-evolving business landscape. The value FITC FOWA is bringing to corporations at this time cannot be overemphasized. By equipping youths and creating a pool of well-engaged workforce for organizations, FITC FOWA will be directly strengthening the economy and the society in general.”
Malize added that the initiative offers essential courses in Data Science, Data Analytics, Coding, Digital Marketing, Graphics Designs, MS Excel & Analytics, Digital Marketing, Use of PowerPoint, and other key areas that have been strategically packaged to educate, enlighten, and upskill undergraduates and graduates with the vital skills for the Future of Work.
What you should know
Owned by the Bankers Committee (CBN, NDIC and all Nigerian deposit money banks), FITC was established in 1981 as a non-profit organisation limited by guarantee to provide capacity building and serve as a knowledge hub for the Nigerian Financial Services Sector.
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