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The Bank of Apple – 1 more BIG move from Cupertino

Worth $3 trillion it would be easy to sit back and rest – but they always want more

Apple High Interest Rate Savings Account

We want your money

I wouldn’t necessarily say that Apple is greedy, but they are certainly not shy either when it comes to ways to extract money from us.

They are probably best known as being the iPhone manufacturer, well certainly to the wider public. Beyond that though they are seen as the leading tech company – the cool kids. They are the company behind iPads, Apple Watch and the Mac, right…

Recently though as sales have plateaued we have seen the company diversifying their core business focus. Now, they are becoming serious players in the movie-making game and services are starting to be an important part of the overall business as well.

But for Apple, enough is never enough. Now the world of finance and banking is starting to tickle their fancy.

Drip, drip

I guess the interest in offering financial services began almost a decade ago and the advent of Apple Pay in 2014.

That one service for me has been a game-changer. I can’t recall the last time I took a credit or debit card out with me – Apple Pay is just so damned convenient.

But in the shadows of Apple Pay, they have been slowly but surely adding to their financial service list with Apple Cash, Apple Card and more recently Pay Later and now the new Apple Card Savings account.

With the force that Apple has behind them, and with world markets ebbing when it comes purely to tech who’s to say Cook and the gang haven’t got their eye on becoming serious players in the full-blown banking & financial world at some point in the future?

After all, they know better than most that money has a canny habit of, well, making money. And possibly the global banking system needs some new blood to bring it up to date and help shake off its dusty shackles.

A new one on me

Most of the services that they offer quite obviously make money, but on the face of it I was a little confused by their most recent announcement of the savings account – won’t that mean they are paying us money?

Apple Card’s new high-yield Savings account has no minimum balance (but does have a maximum balance of $250,000) there are no fees and they are offering a pretty competitive interest rate of 4.15%. So forgive me for being dumb, but that doesn’t seem to add up…or does it?

As is so often though, they have thought everything through though. Offering good interest rates means you’d be more inclined to add or at least leave money in the account. That means all those dollars are under Apple’s auspices, well technically Goldman Sachs, but it’s money that’s not going anywhere – remember – money makes money.

It’s the perfect circle – it will encourage us to buy more with Apple Pay and Apple Card as then you can pile more money into your high-interest account earning you more money. And the rub is it’s good for Apple too as more money falls into their coffers to invest and play with.

Branching out

Apple Card and the savings account operate with the backing of a financial partner.

But the Pay Later feature is entirely Apple. Reading the small print the Pay Later offer is backed by a subsidiary company of Apple – Apple Financing, LLC. It’s the company’s responsibility to handle all loan aspects of Pay Later – they will carry out the credit checks, provide the funds to make purchases and handle repayment by the consumer.

Although not a headline grabber, the move to start their own financial arm of the company is important – it shows they are in it for the long haul and for all we know have some pretty lofty plans ahead. It’s new ground for them, but equally, that is the exciting part. They would not be putting all this risk, time and effort into something if they couldn’t foresee long-term rewards from.

If you ask me, they have a playbook here…

If ever the twain should meet

Oddly it’s not hard to see how the worlds of finance and technology overlap.

OK, Apple Pay wasn’t the first method of contactless payment, but it quickly became the most popular due to Apple’s infrastructure. The Apple Pay symbol is something I always look for – and I’m sure I’m not alone either.

The stuffy and clumsy ways of high street banks have had it their own way for so long that as I mentioned maybe the new kids on the block can shake things down a bit. It could become ever more streamlined, quick, easy and efficient to manage your money, cash flow and savings. It’s got Apple written all over it – make it as easy as possible to spend, but now also save.

Wrapping up

Reading and researching before I sat down to write this today left me with the impression that Apple may have the taste of money on their breath.

Buoyed by the success of Apple Pay, and now with their own financial division to the company what are the odds that they are planning more financial products backed by Apple Financing, LLC?

It’ll be a slowly, slowly approach. I’m not for a moment suggesting we’ll wake up with an Apple Bank on the corner of every high street, but with every financial product of their own that they unveil they’ll be learning the ropes, gathering knowledge and infrastructure, clout and getting some time in.

As they did in switching us over from the antiquated SMS to iMessage or the success of AirTags over various other trackers, it all comes down to the popularity and sheer numbers of their devices out in the wild. Their popularity and dominance give them an advantage in whatever they turn to.

As I said earlier, services and subs have become a huge, and safe part of the company’s revenue stream – almost a passive income that remains fairly consistent. They have already proven with the App Store what they are capable of building from the ground up. All of this will have been in their mind as they take this next step in the company’s financial future.

With the headset about to launch, I am guessing Apple will already have ideas as to how your day-to-day banking can be better integrated into an AR part of your life as well.

I’ve learned that Apple is nearly always about the long game – rarely do they sprint.

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