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Google’s Finance Business Set for Expansion in Europe

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Jan. 15 2019, Updated 7:31 a.m. ET

Google granted e-money permit

Lithuania has granted Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google a license that allows it to offer e-money services across the European Union economic bloc, Bloomberg reported.

Google runs a digital payments service called Google Pay, which is available in Europe and other countries. Google Pay allows users to store their card details so they can use their smartphone to pay for purchases online and in store. With the license from Lithuania, Google Pay can now offer more financial services, except making loans and taking deposits directly, in Europe on top of its existing services.

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Offering banking services without being a bank

Without holding banking licenses, many technology companies have taken to partnering with banks to expand into the loans business. PayPal (PYPL), for instance, is working with various banks to enable it to make loans to businesses and consumers, the Wall Street Journal reported last year. Google also teamed up with certain lenders last year to add loan service to its India-focused payments app called Tez. But Square (SQ) may actually transform itself into a bank, as the company is seeking an industrial bank license in the United States.

Google’s other revenue rose 28%

Besides Google, other American technology companies that have been granted payment licenses in Europe include Facebook (FB) and Amazon (AMZN), which obtained their permits from Ireland and Luxembourg, respectively.

The financial services business falls under Google’s Other segment, where revenue rose 28% year-over-year to $4.6 billion in the third quarter of 2018.

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