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Google Pay app not getting mobile banking, company pulls plug on Plex

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Google has put the brakes on a project to add mobile banking to its Pay app, even as the online financial services market for everyday investors heats up.

Confirming the Wall Street Journal report, a spokesperson said Friday that the company has finished work on its Plex project, but continues to monitor ways to integrate financial services.

Plex would have allowed the Pay app to act as an interface for banks or credit unions, allowing users to check their savings and checking accounts.

Google development of the project came as several Internet firms, from Amazon and PayPal to Square and Robinhood, are riding the trend of providing financial tools for shopping, borrowing or investing online.

“We are updating our approach to focus primarily on providing digital enablement for banks and other financial service providers, rather than acting as a provider of these services,” the spokesperson said in response to an AFP inquiry. “

“We strongly believe this is the best way for Google to help consumers gain better access to financial services.”

Google said late last year that it was working with about a dozen credit unions and banks, including Citigroup, to be included in the Plex project for its Pay mobile app, available on Android smartphones.

Pay app allows users to pay for transactions, send money to friends and store loyalty cards among other benefits.

According to the Wall Street Journal, about 400,000 people had registered on the waiting list for Plex.

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