Sticking to its big-picture plan of organizing the world’s information, Google has recently rolled its various financial advice sites and features into a single site called Google Advisor.
According to a company blog post:
“With Google Advisor, you enter information about what you’re looking for in a mortgage, credit card, CD, or checking and savings account. We show you a list of the offers that match your criteria, along with rates and contact information.”
Sound familiar? It should, if you’ve ever used sites like Credit Karma, Mint, Bankrate or any number of similar comparison engines. To its credit, Google’s offering is certainly clean, straightforward, and seems well-organized—unlike Bankrate.com, for instance, which my dog started barking at when I pulled it up. I know, buddy. I know.
And people may find additional solace in the fact that the site’s footer says, “Google is not currently being paid for these listings,” when it comes to credit cards, CDs, and personal banking services, although the instance of the word “currently” leaves the door open for future leeriness. Google does get paid whenever you contact a mortgage lender.
Google has taken a few additional steps to deal with potential privacy concerns, as well, including masking your phone number from lenders.
– When you call the number listed for a lender, you’re actually calling a special Google phone number. Google instantly forwards your call to the lender so your phone number remains confidential. The lender won’t see your phone number unless you choose to share it with the lender during the call.
– Similarly, when you fill out a form to request more information, the phone number you provide is never shared with the lender. Instead, Google provides the lender with a special number they can call to be connected to your phone.
– Your Google Account information is never shared with the lender, even if you’re signed in while browsing the comparison page.
Some personal information is collected by Google, though, even as most offers you’re potentially interested in whisk you off to the related banks’ sites.
More: Making financial comparisons easy with Google Advisor [Google]