Apple’s partnership with Goldman Sachs for the Apple Card is reportedly coming to an end. The Wall Street Journal says Apple sent a proposal to the bank to exit from the agreement in the next 12 to 15 months.
At the moment, it remains unclear if Apple has zeroed in on another banking partner for Apple Card.
Goldman Sachs has lost billions of dollars in this partnership
Apple launched the Apple Card in 2019, offering a unique mix of consumer-friendly features like unlimited Daily Cash back with every purchase and no annual fees or late fees. Benefits like that — and a spiffy, laser-etched physical card made of titanium — quickly made Apple Card a hit with users.
Apple Card Savings launched in April, offering users a relatively high 4.15% interest rate on savings. It reportedly brought in more than $10 billion in deposits by August. Both endeavors add to Apple’s services revenue, which the company increasingly relies on for growth as iPhone sales plateau.
Apple relies on Goldman Sachs to handle the banking requirements of Apple Card and its savings account. The collaboration has worked in Apple’s favor, but Goldman Sachs has suffered billions of dollars in losses.
Apple Card poses problems for Goldman Sachs
According to the Wall Street Journal report, the problems started right after the Apple Card’s launch.
“Goldman and Apple’s relationship got off to a rocky start,” the Journal reported. “Apple ran ads saying that the card wasn’t from a bank, irritating certain Goldman executives. Apple has pushed for nearly all applicants to get approved, pushing up loan losses for Goldman.”
A previous report detailed that Goldman Sachs wanted to change how Apple Card bills customers. Unlike other credit cards with staggered billing cycles, Apple Card generates its bills at the beginning of each month. This reportedly causes Goldman Sachs’ customer service department to be flooded with calls. Then, the employees mostly sit idle for the rest of the month.
Finally, some within the bank think the Apple partnership caused the U.S. government to eye Goldman Sachs more closely.
“Privately, some Goldman executives blame Apple for regulatory scrutiny that the bank has come under,” according to the Journal. “Goldman disclosed last year that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is investigating its ‘credit card account management practices,’ including how the bank resolves billing errors and refunds cardholders.”
As a result all this, the bank now wants to exit the partnership and cut back on its consumer finance business.
Interestingly, the move comes just a year after Apple and Goldman Sachs extended their partnership through 2029. (Rumors of Goldman Sachs looking to exit the Apple Card partnership have been swirling since June.)
Apple Card needs a new banking partner
Apple did not confirm the WSJ report about the plan to break with Goldman Sachs. Instaed, an Apple representative focused on the positive aspects of the Apple Card in a statement to CNBC.
“Apple and Goldman Sachs are focused on providing an incredible experience for our customers to help them lead healthier financial lives,” Apple told CNBC. “The award-winning Apple Card has seen a great reception from consumers, and we will continue to innovate and deliver the best tools and services for them.”
Apple reportedly might switch to American Express as its banking partner. However, the deal has not yet been finalized. AmEx raised concerns about the program’s loss rates and other aspects. Synchrony Financial also could take over the Apple Card program from Goldman Sachs. That bank already works closely with Amazon and PayPal to issue those company’s credit cards.
If you are an Apple Card customer, nothing changes for you immediately. Once Goldman Sachs exits the partnership and Cupertino finds a new banking partner, Apple might need to tweak its credit card and savings account.