The Apple Card’s stealth banker

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Good afternoon everyone,

Apple’s online advertisements say its new credit card was “Created by Apple, Not a Bank.”

That’s true, sort of.

The technology giant bypassed conventional credit card issuers, including Wilmington-based Chase Card Services, Barclaycard and Bank of America to come up with its own card. Barclaycard still offers a card option for Apple purchases. However, a rewards card was dropped as the Apple Card launch approached.

Instead,Apple chose Goldman Sachs to serve as its stealth banker.

It is true that Goldman Sachs does not have branches and drive-up windows. But the Wall Street investment giant is clearly diving into banking services and ditching its buttoned-up style.

The company was in the news recently when it was learned that hundreds of suits were left behind at its old London headquarters as the company switched to business casual attire.

Meanwhile, the company has rolled out savings accounts and personal loans through a brand known as “Marcus by Goldman Sachs.” The Apple card gives it a foothold in the credit card arena.

An interesting twist came earlier this month when another part of Goldman Sachs downgraded Apple stock, citing an accounting method for a customer trial of its new Apple TV streaming service. The service will include original programming as the company jumps into the crowded streaming space.

Apple disputed the report but knows that Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and other financial giants put a wall between investment analysis and other operations.

For now, the Apple Card is not keeping credit card folks in Wilmington up at night.

Despite many bells and whistles that include budgeting and quick cash back on purchases, the Apple Card is aimed at a limited market – for now.

It will only be available for iPhones that can handle newer versions of its software. Still, no one is counting out a technology giant swimming in cash and capable of attacking any market it chooses.

System of a Down

I’m not talking about the Armenian-American heavy metal band of the same name. A system upgrade took longer than expected and left our website down for an extended period. Our apologies for the (temporarily) dead links as we work to handle a growing volume of visitors.

Finally, if you are not applying for the Apple Card via your iPhone, take a few minutes off to enjoy another hint of summer.

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