And finally… Goldman and Apple to team-up for digital credit card

A new credit card that would link users to new smart features on the iPhone is being cooked-up by tech giant Apple and investment bank Goldman Sachs.

According to the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, the new joint credit card will be tested with employees of both companies before an official launch later this year.

It is believed that the tie-up is part of a move by both companies to diversify their revenues streams from their traditional core products and services.

Goldman has already launched an online consumer bank called Marcus, which generated £27bn in deposits last year, but its partnership with Apple would be its first ever credit card.

According to the Journal, the initiative also represents a “major push” by Apple “into the financial lives of hundreds of millions of iPhone users”, while Goldman Sachs would be able to extend its reach into retail banking and to target Apple’s young, digitally savvy customers.

The new venture is being designed to help iPhone users better manage their money, such as enabling them to set spending limits, track rewards and manage their balances.

Some of the features could include sending notifications to users about their spending habits, such as flagging up an unusually high bills, or using graphics similar to Apple’s fitness-tracking app where visual rings close as users hit daily targets.

It has set aside £150m to support the project, the Journal’s sources revealed, and this will help finance a network of customer support call centres in America as well as a new internal system to handle payments.

The new card will use Mastercard’s payment network, the second largest in the US after Visa, and it is expected that cardholders will earn around 2 per cent cashback on purchases, with potentially more on Apple products and services.

And by having its own credit card, Apple is expected to gain a bigger slice of “swipe fees”, although the Journal cautioned that the company risks angering banks whose cards account for the bulk of transactions run through Apple Pay.