Mar 15, 2018 2 min read

We come in piece(s)

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It was just a funny autocorrect but somehow so fitting. I tweeted about an article describing Google’s efforts to collaborate with banks in regards of PSD2 and that Google intends not to compete with banks. In that tweet I raised the questions if banks knew what they are about to get into.

Tomi replied to this with this tweet:

Actually, he wanted to write “we come in peace” indicating that Google wants to work with banks together in a peaceful way. The quotation marks leave already some room for interpretation that this might just be a deception maneuver of Google. The autocorrect which changed the tweet  into “we come in piece” made an even stronger emphasis on the potential real intention of Google: entering banking slowly and easily, and potentially grow these efforts into a bigger offering if/when banking turns out to be a promising field. And thus, definitely become competitors to banks in some ways (most likely in frontend / data analysis).

These discussion about “outsiders” entering the local banking / payment market is currently so present in Europe, as we see regular announcements of Chinese payment players (AliPay) partnering with another local players to offer AliPay as a payment options to Chinese tourist. The focus on Chinese tourists is also considered as just the first step and once the payment service is extensively available for Chinese tourists, the shift in target group to locals is not that complicated anymore. Veterans in the payment space compare this development with PayPal entering the German market, as incumbents believed the well-developed German payment market doesn’t leave any chance for the US player to enter.  

Just to make clear: If you are reading my tweets or blog post most regularly, you will know that I am a big fan of collaboration between different kinds of players in FinTech because it is often highly beneficial for both parties. However, the cooperation between banks and Google seems to be slightly different. What I am wondering is, if banks are aware of what they are getting into. Working with a tech player like Google might not be generally a bad thing but especially in regards of PSD2 this seems like a high-risk game. PSD2 and Open Banking is all about data and that might be an area where Google has a little more experience than most banks…

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