Apple Card’s Savings Account Part of Tech Giant’s Fintech Plans

Hi! Dan DeFrancesco in NYC, but I’m considering making a trip to Canada to nab some of these chocolate bars from this woman who literally can’t give them away fast enough.

Today we’ve got stories on BlackRock’s Larry Fink taking a pay cut, KKR’s new look, and perhaps NYC’s most exclusive gym

But first, can I see your phone?

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1. An apple a day…

Quick, name a fintech.

What’s the first name that popped into your head? Robinhood? Stripe? PayPal? Chime? Plaid? Square?

There’s one I’ll bet most of you missed, and it’s a big one: Apple.

The tech giant isn’t always considered, but it has made a case for itself as a key fintech player over the years. In payments, specifically, its made progress via Apple Pay, the Apple Wallet, and the Apple Card.

On Monday, Apple took another step deeper into financial services, announcing the launch of a high-yield savings account (4.15%) via its Apple Card

So does Apple want to be a bank? The answer to that question is an emphatic: No!

Banks are not fun businesses to run from a technical perspective. There are lots and lots of regulations and red tape to consider. Also, valuations for banks are not nearly as generous as they are for tech companies.

When the Apple Card faced allegations over gender discrimination in regards to its credit limits, it was Goldman Sachs, Apple’s banking partner, that initially took the heat, not the tech gaint. (A regulatory investigation didn’t find any evidence of fair lending violations.)

So at a time when many consumer-facing fintechs are struggling to get by, or potentially getting acquired at a discount from their previous sky-high valuations, Apple keeps chugging along with what’s essentially a side-hustle for its already massive tech business. 

The possibilities are endless when you consider the reach Apple has. In early February, Apple reported it had surpassed 2 billion active devices! That’s some distribution channel! (Yes, I realize that’s devices, not users, but you get the point.)

The irony is that the business Apple created is partially what one of its key partners — Goldman Sachs — wanted for itself.

Goldman had grand ambitions of taking over Main Street with Marcus, but the business never really hit its stride. And now, as Goldman tries to salvage what’s left of its consumer dreams, Apple continues to roll on.

To be sure, Goldman might argue this is all part of its plan. As it eases away from going direct to consumer, and the bank’s Platform Solutions division looks to stop its cash burn, the new pitch is all about Goldman as a behind-the-scenes partner. What’s a better test case than doing it with one of the biggest companies in the world?

What’s not clear, though, is what type of terms Goldman gets for serving as the back-end partner partner. Banking-as-a-Service is a crowded field, and while the Goldman name holds a certain cachet, I’m not sure it’s worth that much in this particular space.

Lucky for us, Goldman reports earnings today. 

Click here to read more about the top eight executives shaking up payments, including a key leader at Apple Pay.

In other news:

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, pictured in November 2022, gesturing while sitting in front of a blue background.

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

2. Hey everyone, come hear how good we sound! Insider’s Dakin Campbell (aka the guy whose Goldman stories I am always linking to) sat down with Russell Sherman for his Press Profiles podcast to discuss what it’s like covering Wall Street’s top executives. Give it a listen here.

3. Helping expats get some credit. Getting a credit card in a foreign country can be a nightmare. Insert Yonder, which offers credit cards with rewards for a monthly subscription fee. Here’s the pitch deck it used to raise its most recent round. 

4. Inside the passing of the guard at KKR. As KKR cofounders Henry Kravis and George Roberts look to pass the torch to co-CEOs Joseph Bae and Scott Nuttall, the PE giant is also in the midst of reimagining itself, The Wall Street Journal reports. More on that shift here.

5. Wall Street executives — they’re just like us! BlackRock CEO Larry Fink saw his pay cut 30% last year amid the market uncertainty of 2022. Fink took home only $25.2 million. He’s not alone, as other tops CEOs saw their pay shrink. 

6. Here’s why your boss really wants you back in the office. It’s not because of company culture. It’s not because of commercial real estate. It’s not even because they think you’re slacking off. Insider’s Aki Ito breaks down why bosses hate WFH. In short, they think it’s for sissies.

7. Wells Fargo vs. unionization. Broader support of unions in recent years, along with successful campaigns at other companies, has bank executives worried about internal unionization efforts, Bloomberg reports. For more on Wells Fargo employees’ union drive, click here.

8. The case for Andy Saperstein as future Morgan Stanley CEO. The head of the bank’s $4.5 trillion wealth management business is shaping up to be a prime candidate to take over for James Gorman, Bloomberg reports. We’ve also got more on why all the big banks could make a leadership change this year.

9. Get ready for grilling season. Contrary to what some might say (even at this very publication) grilling food rocks. But if you want to switch things up, maybe a pellet grill is more your speed. We’ve got you covered. Here are five of the best.

10. Inside the Raya of gyms. Brooklyn’s Ghost is a high-end luxury gym requiring an application and in-person interview. Founded by a former investment banker (because of course it is), Ghost memberships can cost up to $300 a month. Here’s Jordan Parker Erb’s review, including pictures, of the exclusive gym.

Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email, tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London. 


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