Is Google Joining The Banking Sector?

Is Google Joining The Banking Sector?


Big Tech looks to be making further moves on the financial sector, as Google-parent Alphabet announced banking plans for next year, while Facebook launched its new payment service.

What does this mean?

Reports emerged this week that Google parent company Alphabet will begin offering checking accounts from next year. According to a source close to the matter, the accounts for the project will be run by Citigroup and the Stanford Federal Credit Union, confirming a report in The Wall Street Journal. As part of a project code-named Cache, the company will become the latest Silicon Valley leader to try its hand at the banking space, following previous attempts by the likes of Apple and Facebook. Speaking of scary, data-grabbing corporations in finance, Facebook launched a new payment service on Tuesday that will let users of its family of apps — including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger — send and receive money and make purchases. The move lets Facebook match popular features offered by competitors while its more ambitious Libra digital payments system remains mired in scrutiny.  

Bet you didn’t know

The oldest active bank in the world is the Italian Banca Monte Dei Paschi di Siena, which opened in 1472. We’ve come a long way since.


Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba set a sales record on Singles Day, the world’s largest 24-hour shopping event.

What does this mean?

Investors in Alibaba Group would have been heartened by the success of the companies annual Singles’ Day shopping event, which smashed 24-hour records to take in $38 billion in sales. It was the 11th edition of the annual Singles Day event — also called the Double 11 shopping festival because it falls on Nov. 11 — and this year's tally surpassed 2018’s by 26%. Singles' Day was founded in Nanjing University when Chinese students began hosting parties for single people to combat the social stigma attached to persons without romantic partners. The event exceeds the combined spending of U.S. shopping holidays such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and marks a win for the Chinese company in a time where China faces a slowing economy, lower spending, and stiff competition from rivals. 

Bet you didn’t know

The record sales for Cyber Monday, the most well known single-day sales event, is ‘just’ $7.9 billion, roughly one-fifth what was made on Alibaba’s Singles’ Day.



Tesla stock bumped up on Tuesday as CEO Elon Musk announced plans for a fourth factory and design center in Germany.

What does this mean?

Tesla saw its stock rise slightly this week following CEO Elon Musk’s announcement of the company’s first European production plant to be built in Berlin. It’s believed that the electric car company will build its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles at the site near the proposed new airport, with Musk revealing an “engineering and design center” will also be created. The California-based company will face stiff competition from Germany’s Volkswagen, which plans to produce 22 million electric vehicles in the next 10 years as new EU emissions regulations come into effect from next year. This move for a fourth ‘Gigafactory’ comes on the heels of the company’s new Shanghai operation taking off. By expanding production to both Asia and Europe, Musk may now be able to build and export Tesla models in these new markets without the threat of tariffs on automobiles, which have not been withdrawn by either the U.S. or China in their ongoing trade war.

Bet you didn’t know

Tesla’s new Shanghai Gigafactory has the world’s largest footprint, at 864,885 m2 (9,309,540 sq ft).



One of the streaming wars biggest combatants, Disney, entered the fray this week with great success, while Netflix signed a deal to help fight back.

What does this mean?

Less than 2 days after its long-awaited launch, Disney announced on Wednesday that its original streaming service has already gained over 10 million subscribers, causing shares to jump 7%. Disney is offering a seven-day free trial, so it is likely that not all of the sign-ups represent customers who will continue to pay for the service, but it is still an impressive figure nonetheless. This number compares to Netflix’s 158 million subscribers. Disney forecasts Disney+ will have between 60 million and 90 million subscribers by 2024. Netflix, however, is not just waiting to be dethroned! The streaming forerunner is taking on the Disney+ threat by partnering with kids’ entertainment giant Nickelodeon, which will produce original content, including films and TV shows, for Netflix’s streaming service.

Bet you didn’t know

With 10 million subscribers, Disney already has more viewers after 3 days than ESPN+, DAZN, and Crunchyroll combined.



Apple and Goldman Sachs are in the firing line after allegations of gender discrimination emerged in relation to credit limits for the new Apple credit card. Over the weekend, a Danish programmer tweeted that he was being offered 20x the credit limit his wife was allowed, despite both of them having the same credit histories. This was picked up by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who said that he and his wife were also experiencing a similar thing. Now, New York's Department of Financial Services has confirmed that an investigation is being conducted "to determine whether New York law was violated and ensure all consumers are treated equally regardless of sex." In the wake of these accusations, reports emerged that Apple could launch a bundled subscription service as soon as 2020, in what might be a smokescreen to avert attention from the current credit card controversy. 

What does this mean?

Apple will have to tread very carefully in its handling of this situation, so as to avoid tarnishing its reputation as a company for all people. At a time where iPhone sales continue to decline, Apple will need to shore up its other services.

Bet you didn’t know

With Apple’s current market cap standing at over $1 trillion, it is worth more than 1% of the world’s GDP.


The Week In Numbers


is the starting price of Apple’s new MacBook Pro, announced this week to go on sale in December. 


is how many reports of problems Disney+ had on its first day, which saw the service crash for an extended period.

$250 trillion

is how much global debt surged to in the first half of 2019, led by the U.S and China.