Google has stopped working on its Plex service, which was intended to let you conduct your banking business through the Google Pay app. The service was to allow users to sign up for checking or savings accounts offered by a number of traditional banks, which the user would then manage via the app. According to a report from Wall Street Journal, Google canceled the project due to a series of missed deadlines and because a director who pushed for the project left the company.
Plex was not intended to put Google in direct competition with banks, according to reports that came out before the company revealed the program and information from its official announcement. Instead, Google planned to partner with a variety of financial institutions that would have provided accounts with no monthly or cash contracts and no minimum balance. Like some other online banking, the Google app would have let users set things like savings targets and automatic transfers. Some of the banks that Google planned to partner with included Citi and SEFCU.
In an email Friday, Google said The edge that it still believes that there is demand from consumers for simpler ways to pay for things while shopping both online and in person, but that it will now focus on “providing digital opportunity for banks and other financial service providers rather than us serves as a provider of these services. ”It is therefore possible that at some point we will see some of Plex’s features appear in Google Pay – or we may just see Google continue working on its redesigned Google Pay app.
While there are still other options for people who want online banking with decent apps, it’s a shame to see that Google has canceled this project. Not only would it have given more traditional banks an incentive to intensify their mobile app games, but a major feature like this being augmented before release does not help Google’s reputation for not sticking to the products it launches. Still, it’s better that Google stopped it now if it did not commit to it – as a former Google Wallet debit card holder, I can say from personal experience that I should deal with changing how you pay for things is far more of a pain than to say having to find a new way to read RSS.