Google to offer checking accounts next year

Updated 13 November 2019

Google to offer checking accounts next year

SAN JOSE, California: Alphabet Inc’s Google will offer personal checking accounts from sometime next year in partnership with Citigroup Inc. and a small credit union at Stanford University, a person familiar with Google’s plans said on Wednesday.
The details of the project, named Cache, were first reported by the Wall Street Journal and follow moves by tech heavyweights Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. into the financial industry this year.
Facebook’s plan to launch its Libra cryptocurrency has met with skepticism from regulators, worried about the risk of money laundering and the security of transactions and user data.
But there are also broader concerns about how the big tech companies’ will use their massive digital influence in other areas of business and economic infrastructure.
“Our approach is going to be to partner deeply with banks and the financial system,” Caesar Sengupta, general manager and vice president of payments at Google, told the Journal in an interview.
“It may be the slightly longer path, but it’s more sustainable,” Sengupta was quoted as saying.
Asked about Google’s plans, US Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat on the Senate panel that oversees banking, said he was “a tech guy,” but that he had some reservations.
Warner told CNBC in an interview on Wednesday his concern was that tech giants like Facebook or Google were entering new fields before there were some regulatory rules of the road in place.
“I think there ought to be very strict scrutiny,” he added.
On Tuesday, Facebook launched a unified payment service through which users across its platforms can make payments without exiting the app, named Facebook Pay, which is separate from its Libra project.
The Google Pay service by the search giant is already popular in countries like India, where it has over 67 million monthly users and is used to pay for everything from groceries to Uber rides.


Saudi finance minister reassures public on taxes

Updated 23 min 40 sec ago

Saudi finance minister reassures public on taxes

  • Mohammed Al-Jadaan: There will be no more fees and taxes until after the financial, economic and social impacts have been considered carefully
  • The government expects to generate about SR203 billion in taxes this year – more than 20.5 percent higher than the previous year

RIYADH: Saudi finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan pledged that there would be no more taxes or fees introduced in the Kingdom until the social and economic impact of such a move had been fully reviewed.

He was speaking at the 2020 Budget Meeting Sessions, organized by the Ministry of Finance and held in Riyadh on Tuesday, where a number of ministers and senior officials gathered following the publication of the budget on Monday evening.

“There will be no more fees and taxes until after the financial, economic and social impacts have been considered carefully, especially in terms of economic competitiveness,” said Al-Jadaan.

The government expects to generate about SR203 billion in taxes this year – more than 20.5 percent higher than the previous year and more than 10 percent higher than the expected budget for this year. 

Most of that increase has come from taxes on goods and services which rose substantially as a result of the improvement in economic activity over the year.

The reassurances from the minister come as the Saudi budget deficit is estimated to widen to about SR187 billion, next year, or about 6.4 percent of GDP.