In recent years, Apple has been making waves in the financial services sector, threatening the dominance of traditional banks and financial institutions. The tech giant’s ventures into the industry signal greater ambitions to take on Wall Street, and recent developments indicate an aggressive expansion plan.
Apple and Goldman Sachs first partnered in 2019 to launch Apple Card, a credit card that signaled the beginning of Apple’s ambitions in financial services. The card was marketed as providing a new level of privacy and security, with a focus on the unique value Apple could bring to customers.
Since then, Apple has continued to make strides in the sector. Recently, the company launched two significant products with Goldman Sachs’ assistance: Apple Pay Later, a “buy now, pay later” offering, and Savings, a high-yield savings account with a 4.15% interest rate—ten times the national average.
The success of Apple Pay, the company’s wireless payment technology, demonstrates its long-term commitment to the financial services industry. Apple Pay’s user base has grown steadily since its 2014 launch, reaching 75% adoption by 2022. As Apple continues to develop its financial offerings, the company could become a significant player in the banking sector.
Some of Apple’s current moves are laying the groundwork for a more significant market share in the future. Project Muirfield, an internal initiative to enable iPhones to both send and receive payments, is a prime example. With this technology, if both the buyer and merchant use Apple devices, payments could be processed without involving traditional banking partners or payment networks like Visa and Mastercard.
Apple’s approach to financial services has been incremental, focusing on building a sustainable advantage over time rather than making flashy acquisitions. As the company continues to expand into this sector, it’s expected to leverage its massive user base, market cap, and history of disruptive innovation to gain a foothold in the industry.
Traditional banking institutions have taken notice of Apple’s expansion. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has labeled Apple a bank, citing the company’s extensive resources and data as a competitive advantage. American Express CEO Stephen Squeri has also acknowledged Apple’s threat, admitting to feeling “paranoid” about the tech giant’s growing presence in the industry.
While Apple’s ultimate goal in the financial sector remains unclear, its recent moves indicate a long-term commitment to the industry. As Apple continues to develop its products and services, traditional banks and financial institutions should be prepared to face stiff competition from the tech behemoth.