Google steps into the banking sector

The tech giant is looking to use its technologies to solve banking problems

by | May 14, 2021

Google’s head of retail banking, Zac Maufe, confirmed the tech giant is stepping into the banking sector.

“We’re really excited because we think that there are so many technologies and capabilities that Google has to offer that can be brought into the financial services space and provide immense value,” he said at this year’s FinovateSpring fintech event.

Google’s Doc AI software, which structures unstructured data and is currently used to run Google Photos, would have “massive implications” for how banking works, such as speeding up loan applications, he said.

While the wider technology offering from Google can “change how banking is done”, he added.

Maufe stressed the tech giant isn’t looking to become a bank in the US but is looking to “apply Google technologies” to solve banking problems for banks around the world.

“We have banking customers around the world, and we are building products and solutions that meet folks around the world. In general, everybody is in a very similar place, trying to solve very similar problems with very similar starting points.”

A current problem facing many banks, according to Maufe, is wrestling with the original technology infrastructure.

“Banks were very early adopters of technology around the world and they’re all struggling with that, because there’s huge amounts of tech debt that all of these banks have. Even smaller banks are organised around the customer. Everything was built in silos. That’s how banking was done. That’s how the technologies were built. Those things are things that people are wrestling with – it’s sort of universal.”

Financial companies are starting to become more consumer centric in the thought processes behind their product offering, he said.

“When you look at what conversations people are having online about financial services, it’s about solving financial needs, it’s not about products. Financial companies have been really product focus for a long time. And so, pivoting to think about, like how to solve financial needs, and then follow with the product, I think is going to be the future.”

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