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All Tech Companies eventually became Fintechs- Google to launch new debit card

Google in partnership with CITI and Stanford Federal Credit Union is testing its own Google-branded smart debit card

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Google, Google updates user tools after probe against privacy rights, Experts laud Google’s decision to offer banking services , Google sacks workers over data violations on security policies , All Tech Companies eventually became Fintechs- Google to launch new debit card, Google signs in to Theta (blockchain) to transform the global digital economy

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.

READ MORE: Experience convenience with FirstBank debit cards…Introducing the contactless naira MasterCard

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.

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(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.

All Tech Companies eventually became Fintechs- Google to launch new debit card

READ ALSO: Banks Vs Fintechs – Who should be Afraid? (Part Two)

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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.

Jenrade Lawal

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Oxygen demand in Lagos State has risen 5 times – Sanwo-Olu

Governor Sanwo-Olu has lamented the rising second wave of the pandemic in Lagos as the demand for oxygen increases by 5 times.

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has warned that the rising second wave of the pandemic in Lagos has seen the demand for oxygen rise 5 times from 70 six-litre cylinders per day to 350 six-litre cylinders at Yaba Mainland Hospital alone.

The Governor also urged that all malaria-like symptoms should henceforth be considered as COVID-19 virus infection unless and until proven not to be so.

This was disclosed in a statement released by the Lagos State Government on Tuesday.

“Over the last few weeks, the demands for oxygen has risen from 70 six-litre cylinders per day to 350 six-litre cylinders in our Yaba Mainland Hospital. This is projected to more than double to 750 six-cylinders, before the end of January 2021,” the Governor said.

He added that the State Government has decentralized provision of oxygen and other services needed for Covid-19 patients, citing provision of oxygen kiosks.

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“ln addition to providing oxygen at our isolation centres, the Lagos State Government has decentralized the availability of oxygen across the State through the provision of 10 oxygen and sampling kiosks. Oxygen therapy and other related services will be provided to patients that require them.

“Five of these 10 oxygen centers have been commissioned while the remaining five will be ready for use within the next four weeks. It is our expectation that these sampling kiosks would be easily accessible to residents that require oxygen therapy at the level of LGAs as stabilization points prior to onward transmission to our Isolation centres, if required.

“This strategy is to further increase the fighting chance of Lagos residents that have contracted the virus and require immediate oxygen therapy,” he stated.

The Governor said that Lagos is closely monitoring plans by the FG to acquire vaccines and said the State has also resumed discussion with potential manufacturers. He also said the State is building its own regulatory framework for vaccine distribution.

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“We are closely monitoring ongoing action by the Federal Government to procure COVID-19 vaccines for use in Nigeria. We have also opened discussions with vaccine manufacturers so that when the vaccine comes eventually we can ensure that Lagosians are catered for.

“In the meantime, we are developing a strategy that will articulate the criteria, guidelines and regulatory framework for providing and monitoring vaccinations in Lagos.

“The Lagos State Government is actively partnering with the private sector in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the areas of testing, oxygen deployment, as well as the clinical management of moderate to severe cases. These partnerships have helped enhance the State’s response to the ever-changing circumstances of the pandemic,” Sanwo-Olu added.

What you should know 

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  • The Lagos State Government earlier disclosed that its bed occupancy levels at its public and private COVID-19 care centres increased to 51 per cent.
  • The Federal Government also alerted Nigerians that hospitals across the country are running out of facilities to handle more serious cases of coronavirus infections as the virus is spreading fast with mild symptoms in some victims and severe illnesses and death in others.
  • Nairametrics recently reported that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Finance, announced the sum of N10 billion for the production of vaccines in Nigeria, to fight the coronavirus.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 19th of January 2021, 1,301 new confirmed cases and 15 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 113,305 confirmed cases.

On the 19th of January 2021, 1,301 new confirmed cases and 15 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 113,305 cases have been confirmed, 91,200 cases have been discharged and 1,464 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.19 million tests have been carried out as of January 19th, 2021 compared to 1.17 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 19th January 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 113,305
  • Total Number Discharged – 91,200
  • Total Deaths – 1,464
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,191,866

According to the NCDC, the 1,301 new cases were reported from 22 states- Lagos (551), FCT (209), Oyo (83), Plateau (65), Kaduna (64), Enugu (61), Rivers (44), Ondo (39), Benue (37), Akwa Ibom (31), Kano (19), Delta (18), Gombe (18), Ogun (16), Edo (15), Kebbi (10), Ebonyi (9), Jigawa (4), Osun (3), Zamfara (3), Borno (1) and Nasarawa (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 41,951, followed by Abuja (14,909), Plateau (6,896), Kaduna (6,389),  Oyo (4,778), Rivers (4,473), Edo (3,335), Ogun (2,928), Kano (2,636), Delta (2,140), Ondo (2,109), Katsina (1,723), Kwara (1,697), Enugu (1,644), Gombe (1,518), Nasarawa (1,336), Ebonyi (1,284), Osun (1,263),  Abia (1,134), and Bauchi (1,107).

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Borno State has recorded 868 cases, Imo (857), Akwa Ibom (698), Benue (694), Sokoto (677), Bayelsa (619), Adamawa (573), Niger (547), Anambra (515), Ekiti (473), Jigawa (429), Taraba (294), Kebbi (261), Yobe (211), Cross River (169),  Zamfara (165), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

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On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.

Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.

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READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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Macro-Economic News

Price Watch: Nigerians paid less for Kerosene in December 2020

NBS Report shows that consumers paid less for Kerosene in December than they did in November 2020.

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Average prices of Kerosene, Diesel and Cooking Gas in Nigeria

The latest National Bureau for Statistics (NBS) Price Watch report for the month of December 2020 indicates that the average price per litre paid by consumers for National Household Kerosene reduced by 0.17% from N353.38 in November 2020 to N352.79 in December 2020.

Also according to the report, the average price per gallon paid by consumers for National Household Kerosene reduced by 3.52% from N1,218.50 in November 2020 to N1,175.59 in December 2020.

Price variations across states

  • In the month of December 2020, States with the highest average price per litre of kerosene include; Benue (N436.81), Ebonyi (N425.83) and Taraba (N423.33).
  • However, consumers in Bayelsa (N235.95), Rivers (N302.04) and Delta (N307.69) enjoyed the lowest average price per litre of kerosene.
  • Consumers in Kebbi (N1,534.21), Nasarawa (N1,488.00) and Benue (N1,450.00) paid the highest average price per gallon of kerosene.
  • While consumers in Sokoto (N733.33), Bayelsa (N773.75) and Adamawa (N822.00) on the other hand, paid the lowest average price per gallon of kerosene.

Prices across zones

  • Consumers in South-East zone paid the highest average price for a litre of Kerosene (N377.53), followed by North East (N370.13), North West (N354.66), North Central (N354.44) while consumers in South West(N337.57) and South South (N325.96) paid the lowest average price for a litre of Kerosene.
  • In respect of the average price paid for a gallon of Kerosene, consumers in North West zone paid the highest (N1,197.54), followed by North Central (N1,305.68), South East (N1,220.66), while consumers in South West (N1,161.00), North East (N1,113.25) and South-South(N1,037.60) paid the lowest average price of a gallon of kerosene.

Why this matters

Kerosene has remained an important source of energy for cooking for most families, both in the rural areas and cities. Kerosene is mostly used in rural areas as a source of lighting.

Considering that food and lighting are very essential to life, it is therefore important that the price paid for Kerosene is quite reasonable and as well as affordable for most Nigerians.

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