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.


BT warns UK that banning Huawei too fast could cause outages

Updated 13 July 2020

BT warns UK that banning Huawei too fast could cause outages

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to decide this week whether to impose tougher restrictions on Huawei
  • British PM in January granted Huawei a limited role in the 5G network

LONDON: BT CEO Philip Jansen urged the British government on Monday not to move too fast to ban China’s Huawei from the 5G network, cautioning that there could be outages and even security issues if it did.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to decide this week whether to impose tougher restrictions on Huawei, after intense pressure from the United States to ban the Chinese telecoms behemoth from Western 5G networks.
Johnson in January defied President Donald Trump and granted Huawei a limited role in the 5G network, but the perception that China did not tell the whole truth over the coronavirus crisis and a row over Hong Kong has changed the mood in London.
“If you are to try not to have Huawei at all, ideally we would want seven years and we could probably do it in five,” Jansen told BBC radio.
Asked what the risks would be if telecoms operators were told to do it in less than five years, Jansen said: “We need to make sure that any change of direction does not lead to more risk in the short term.”
“If we get to a situation where things need to go very, very fast, then you are into a situation where potentially service for 24 million BT Group mobile customers is put into question — outages,” he said.
In what some have compared to the Cold War antagonism with the Soviet Union, the United States is worried that 5G dominance is a milestone toward Chinese technological supremacy that could define the geopolitics of the 21st century.
The United States says Huawei is an agent of the Chinese Communist State and cannot be trusted.
Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, has said the United States wants to frustrate its growth because no US company could offer the same range of technology at a competitive price.