We look at (1) Google’s key financial products, (2) the ways in which Google poses a threat to incumbents, and (3) where incumbents can build, buy, and partner to compete.
In 2015, Google launched Google Compare in the US, a tool to sell auto insurance and mortgages. Active in the UK since 2012, Google Compare was intended to provide an option to compare rates across different financial products directly after a consumer searched for certain terms on the search engine.
But just a year later, Google shut down the service. With major insurance carriers reluctant to work with Google Compare, the search giant explained it would be “focusing more intently” on advertising opportunities around financial services.
To avoid conflicts with its core search business, Google has largely focused on driving payments through its digital wallet, Google Pay. In Europe, Google Pay recently obtained an e-money license from Lithuania, while in India, Google Pay has grown to 45M monthly active users.
Google’s fintech strategy will likely continue to center on the company’s global payments push as it searches for new users and additional revenue in strategic growth markets.