Tech

New world. Health, finance … The insatiable appetite of Gafa extends to new sectors

The logos of GAFA, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple. (DENIS CHARLET / AFP)

Would you be willing to entrust your savings to Google, Amazon, Facebook or Apple? The question will undoubtedly arise in these terms in a few years. Indeed, the digital giants are getting closer and closer to your wallet.

After Google, Apple or the Korean Samsung who already offer dematerialized payment means for smartphone (Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay), Facebook in turn invites itself into the dance with Facebook Pay, a compatible payment system with its platforms (Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram). Apple, for its part, launched last summer in the United States a physical bank card. This week, the shock announcement came from Google: the US group Mountain View will launch into the bank. In partnership with the banking group Citigroup, Google will offer current accounts to individuals from next year. Finally, let us not forget the Facebook cryptocurrency project Libra which, even if it has lead in the wing, is still relevant.

Why such an appetite? These initiatives are part of the logic of development and diversification of the digital giants who consider that they must be present at all levels of the “experience” offered to users. They take advantage of the delay taken by traditional banks in relation to new uses and new requirements of connected consumers who demand more speed, dematerialization, etc. In addition, finance is a very good way to collect data on users (income, consumption habits, etc.).

Moreover, this bank story is similar to other recent information: Google has just made an agreement with an American health organization, Ascension, to collect the health information of millions of Americans. This will help improve medicine through artificial intelligence. This will also allow Gafa to know even more about Internet users (salaries, diseases, online practices, etc.) and to offer, in the future, financial loans, insurance and any other product or service.

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