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Google Payments takes advantage of Brexit

The users of the electronic mail of Google received yesterday in their inbox a message in which it was warned that Google Payments, the branch of digital payments of the Californian giant located in London, updates the contractual conditions “so that, although it changes the relation of the United Kingdom with respect to the EU, you can continue to enjoy our services. ” As of today, the provider will be Google Ireland.

The Brexit thus charges another victim, at least in appearance

Because if it is true that from now on Google’s digital payments branch will leave the United Kingdom to operate from Dublin, the reality is that the American firm had already prepared their suitcases for some time. The license to operate as a payment platform in Ireland was obtained in early January. Previously, on December 27, he obtained authorization in Lithuania from the central bank of that country. Yesterday he finally opted for the Irish jurisdiction, which is a considered decision.

It is not a bank, therefore it does not need a banking license

On the other hand, Google already has its headquarters for Europe in Dublin, taking advantage of the favorable tax conditions (a corporate rate of 12% and, above all, circumvention mechanisms such as the known “double Irishman”), which now the financial services division will meet with the mother house. By relocating the headquarters, the company will continue to offer its services in the European economic space, so its customers will not notice the difference.

It is not a bank, therefore it does not need a banking license. But it does require an administrative authorization to have access to the payments and information of the clients of the traditional entities (that grant them this information). In this way Google Payments is enabled to manage money transfers, issue cards, execute direct debits and transfers, but can not capture deposits or grant loans. Amazon has the same license from Luxembourg, while Facebook has it from Ireland and also from Spain.

Companies + mobile platforms

David Igual, university professor and author of the first book about fintech in Spain, recalls that “many of these companies operate through their mobile platforms. In certain countries you can even pay with WhatsApp. ” In his opinion, Google’s decision obeys to fiscal, normative and convenience criteria before the Brexit. “But it is clear that these big data companies are increasingly entering the financial sector,” he warns. These giants already have information of all kinds on their users. By adding also the data on your finances, your competitive advantage is huge.


Also published on Medium.

Published inFintech

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