Finance, Google, and Plex

I remarked in a previous blog post about how Google is diversifying their income by moving into financial products. Today sees the launch of Plex, a way to manage bank accounts, offers, and (soon) to open bank accounts.

Google launching waitlist for Plex, its new banking app.

This Verge article goes more in depth about Plex; the part I find most interesting is this sentence:

But Google is also ramping up other ways to pay with this app. Underneath People and Businesses are a couple of new buttons: “Get gas” and “Order food.” The food option ties into Google’s existing food ordering system that is compatible with enough systems for the company to claim it works with over 100,000 restaurants. You’ll also be able to pay for gas or parking directly in the app…

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What I find interesting about Google Plex is that it’s a huge expansion of Google’s business: it moves Google more into the consumer realm such as into financial management and payments (competing with Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Mint), into food ordering (competing with GrubHub) and gas (competing with many loyalty programs). If Plex succeeds, it could mean a many multi-billion dollar business, even larger than the Google Cloud Platform business unit.