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January 17, 2023

On the web

From Credit Cards, Savings Accounts To Lending: How Apple Is Quietly Becoming More And More Like A Bank

India Times

We all know that iPhone maker Apple Inc. has been a tech giant for several decades. It’s also the world’s first company to hit the mammoth $3 trillion market capitalization. Every year, the tech giant gives the world new products and technology. But that’s nothing new, right? What if we told you that Apple has quietly been becoming more and more like a bank as well? Yes, you read that right. Scratching your head to know how?

January 16, 2023

On the web

Apple Card Has Caused Losses of Over $1 Billion for Goldman Sachs


On its Platform Solutions business group, which includes Apple Card, Goldman Sachs has lost $3.03 billion in almost three years. Bloomberg claims that a sizable chunk of such losses was attributable to credit cards.According to a regulatory filing made public by Goldman Sachs, Platform Solutions pretax losses totaled $3.03 billion from the beginning of 2020 through the end of September 2022.

December 19, 2022

On the web

Apple’s iPhone Needs a Shake-Up. A New Law Might Help.

Washington Post

“Apple Inc.’s walled garden around its technology is as synonymous with the iPhone maker as the iPhone itself. It is how Apple lures consumers into buying expensive earphones, watches and speakers that work seamlessly with that rectangular slab in their pockets, and ultimately what locks people in to Apple products.  That has been great for Apple’s business, but not always so great for consumers. Now, a European law is forcing the company to loosen its iron grip on its products. That ultimately could lead to a more dynamic experience on the iPhone as developers create more and feature-rich apps for the platform that capitalize on more of Apple’s technology.”

December 14, 2022

On the wires

Apple Plans to Let Rival App Stores on iPhones in EU-Bloomberg

“Apple Inc. is preparing to allow alternative app stores on its iPhones and iPads in the European Union as soon as late next year to comply with a new European competition law it had fought, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the matter. Opening up to outside app stores could present a major threat to Apple’s fast-growing services business, but rivals would first have to surmount the hurdle of convincing consumers to leave the security and simplicity of using Apple’s own store.”

December 13, 2022

On the web

Is Apple About to Eat PayPal’s Lunch?

The Motley Fool

“The next time you’re out shopping, don’t be surprised if you see the person checking out in front of you using their iPhone to pay instead of a credit card. Apple’s (AAPL 1.64%) payment service, Apple Pay, saw a 52% year-over-year increase in adoption during November, according to data from Salesforce cited by Deutsche Bank analyst Bryan Keane. That was across both in-store proximity payments and online payments made through Apple devices. That’s bad news for PayPal Holdings (PYPL 0.31%) and other, more established, digital wallet services. Apple is rapidly taking market share, and its fintech aspirations could stymie the growth of its rivals. While the number of Apple Pay users was soaring, usage of PayPal and regular credit cards declined in November. While both of those methods have much larger user bases than Apple Pay for online and in-store transactions, respectively, this result signals that users are dropping older payment methods in favor of Apple Pay. That said, PayPal is still the one to beat in online payments. Consumers used it for 16% of all e-commerce purchases. Apple Pay is far behind, used for just 5% of purchases.”

December 6, 2022

On the web

Walmart Checking and Apple Savings: Different Motivations, Similar Outcomes?

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

“Walmart and Apple have announced plans to offer traditional financial accounts. Walmart’s consumer checking account may advance financial inclusion by increasing account access to unbanked and underbanked consumers. Apple’s consumer savings account may change how credit card issuers offer rewards to their customers. Both offerings are likely to increase competition in the financial services industry, though whether they ultimately benefit consumers remains to be seen. This Payments System Research Briefing examines the two companies’ new offerings, their motivations and target markets, the likely outcomes for their respective customers, and potential implications for the financial services industry.”

December 1, 2022

On the web

Apple’s New Coinbase Shakedown Would Literally Ban Ethereum Trades And Transfers On iOS


“Coinbase tweeted this morning that Apple blocked the release of its latest crypto wallet app, asking for a cut of gas fees when people transfer NFTs to each other. Coinbase had to disable its NFT transfer feature before Apple would let the company update its popular self-custodial wallet.    “Apple’s claim is that the gas fees required to send NFTs need to be paid through their In-App Purchase system, so that they can collect 30% of the gas fee,” Coinbase said via it’s Coinbase Wallet Twitter account. “This is akin to Apple trying to take a cut of fees for every email that gets sent over open Internet protocols.”   For once, that’s not PR hyperbole.   It’s actually that serious.”

November 10, 2022

On the web

PayPal and Apple to Accept Each Other’s Payment Products

Finextra Research

“PayPal and Apple have struck a deal to start accepting each other’s payments products within their separate ecosystems. The pair have agreed to let US merchants accept contactless payments on their iPhones – using Apple’s new Tap to Pay technology – through the PayPal and Venmo iOS apps.Meanwhile, Apple Pay will be added as an option in PayPal’s unbranded checkout flows on merchant platforms.”

November 4, 2022

On the web

After Stripe and Square, Venmo and PayPal are Set to Support Apple’s Tap to Pay on iPhones


“PayPal announced Thursday that it will soon support Apple’s Tap to Pay on iPhones. The company said in its Q3 2022 earnings report that both PayPal and Venmo will soon support this tech as a part of its offering. Merchants will be able to accept contactless card payments as well as payments via Apple Pay and other digital wallets (Google Pay). Apple first announced Tap to Pay on iPhone in February to let merchants accept payments without any additional hardware. The company had Stripe as a launch partner with Jack Dorsey-led Square coming on board later in September. Now, with Venmo and PayPal joining the fray, merchants will have varied options of apps and services to choose from to accept payments.”

October 26, 2022

On the web

Apple Unveils Stricter App Store Rules for Crypto and NFTs — Critic Says Firm Wants to Keep Money in Its Ecosystem

Bitcoin News

“In its updated guidelines for apps in the Apple App Store unveiled on October 24, Apple Inc. said crypto exchange apps “may facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange.” In addition, such transactions can only be offered “in countries or regions where the app has appropriate licensing and permissions to provide a cryptocurrency exchange.” The technology company also clarified that crypto wallet apps “may facilitate virtual currency storage, provided they are offered by developers enrolled as an organization.” However, according to the new guidelines, apps are prohibited from mining crypto and offering “currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps.” The only exception to the crypto-mining prohibition is when “the processing is performed off [the] device.” Besides limiting the use of the crypto-transferring apps, the latest guidelines state that developer apps “may not use their own mechanisms to unlock content or functionality, such as license keys, augmented reality markers, QR codes, cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency wallets.” Similarly affected by this requirement are digital gift cards, certificates, vouchers, and coupons which are redeemable for digital goods or services. Apps utilizing the App Store’s in-app purchase function are subject to Apple’s 30% fee, which has been criticized by app creators in the past.”

September 27, 2022

On the web

Apple Pay Later is Reportedly Facing ‘Technical and Engineering’ Issues

The Verge

“Apple Pay Later is facing some “significant” setbacks that could delay its launch until next year, according to a report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The feature is Apple’s version of a buy now, pay later (BNPL) service, letting you make a payment through Apple Pay and then pay it back in four installments without interest. Apple said its Pay Later feature would arrive with iOS 16 when it first announced the program at WWDC in June. But now that iOS 16 is out, Apple Pay Later hasn’t made an appearance, and the fine print on Apple’s iOS 16 page vaguely says it’s “coming in a future update.” As Gurman points out, Apple Pay Later is the only unreleased iOS 16 feature on the page that doesn’t include a timeframe for when we might expect its rollout. Other features, like key sharing and no-setup Siri shortcuts, are listed as “coming later this year.””

August 25, 2022

On the web

iOS 16.1 to Let Users Delete Wallet Amid Antitrust Concerns Over Apple Pay

9 to 5Mac

“Apple on Tuesday surprised developers with the release of both iOS 16.0 beta 7 and iPadOS 16.1 beta 1. And while neither update comes with significant changes, it seems that Apple will soon let users delete the Wallet app from their devices with iOS 16.1. To make things clearer, iPadOS 16.1 beta is only available for iPad at this point as Apple has confirmed that the release of iPadOS 16 has been delayed to a later date. As such, iOS 16.0 is expected to be released for iPhone users in the coming weeks, while iPadOS 16 will arrive as version 16.1 later this fall.”

August 18, 2022

On the web

Wait, When Did Everyone Start Using Apple Pay?

Wall Street Journal

“Patience isn’t the most popular virtue in Silicon Valley, where companies aspire to move fast and break things, the motto that defined the age of tech excess. Nothing broke on the day in 2014 when Apple presented a new service called Apple Pay. If the quality of destruction was measured by the speed at which it happened, the flashy innovation from an industry titan would have been considered a disappointment. The idea that it would make the wallet obsolete sounded ridiculous when the pace of Apple Pay adoption underperformed expectations. Wall Street analysts and iPhone users alike were skeptical for the next few years. The experience of using a credit card didn’t seem like a problem that required a solution from Apple. It’s a bet that now appears to be paying off in a very strange way for our hit-driven economy: slowly.” (Subscription required)

August 11, 2022

On the web

Soft POS User Base Set to Surge


“A new study from Juniper Research has found the total number of merchants deploying soft POS solutions will surpass 34,5-million globally by 2027; rising from 6-million in 2022. This growth will be driven by Apple’s entrance into the soft POS space; enabling iOS users to access an affordable mobile POS solution. Soft POS enables NFC enabled smartphones or tablets to accept contactless payments, without additional hardware. The research forecasts that Apple’s decision to enable third parties to develop soft POS solutions leveraging iOS NFC capabilities will result in an influx of iOS-specific services; leading to innovative solutions for merchants. Furthermore, the research predicts Apple’s entry will provide 1,2-billion iOS users with soft POS capabilities; unlocking a previously untapped market.”

August 4, 2022

On the web

Goldman Sachs, Bank Behind the Apple Card, Says Regulators are Investigating its Credit Card Practices


“Goldman Sachs said that its credit-card business is being investigated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over a range of billing and payments practices. The bank disclosed the probe in a quarterly filing on Thursday, saying that regulators were examining its “account management practices, including with respect to the application of refunds, crediting of nonconforming payments, billing error resolution, advertisements, and reporting to credit bureaus.”  While New York-based Goldman made no mention of its partnership with tech giant Apple in the filing, most of the bank’s $11.84 billion in card loans through the second quarter were from the Apple Card.”

August 2, 2022

On the web

Third-Party Browsers Starting to Support Apple Pay in iOS 16 Betas


“Apple has added Apple Pay support to third-party browsers in recent betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16. The added support, spotted by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, marks a change from iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 and earlier, where in-browser ‌Apple Pay‌ is exclusively available in Safari. Moser found that ‌Apple Pay‌ is available in Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome as of iOS 16 developer beta 4, and other users have noticed ‌Apple Pay‌ support in Mozilla Firefox. Moser noted that ‌Apple Pay‌ support continues to be unavailable on the macOS versions of Edge and Chrome, presumably since they do not use WebKit, Apple’s browser engine that is mandatory for third-party browsers on iOS and iPadOS. This suggests that ‌Apple Pay‌ support is dependent on WebKit and this is the location of any changes Apple has made to expand support for ‌Apple Pay‌.”

July 22, 2022

On the web

Apple’s Version of Virtual Cards Could Be Coming in iOS 16


“Just as Google announced it would be adopting virtual cards for shopping through Chrome, Apple is likely also implementing virtual cards in its Safari browser. The news comes from 9to5Mac, which is currently digging through the iOS 16 beta 3, released yesterday afternoon for developers. According to code the site has seen, Apple has apparently been working to implement virtual cards within Safari to keep your online shopping ventures secure across the board.  Virtual cards are offered by some banks as an option while shopping online so that your actual card and account information isn’t what’s making the rounds when data breaches occur. It also makes it easier for banks and other institutions to cancel a card on a whim. And it’s a more straightforward mechanism for providing one-time use cards.”

July 18, 2022

On the web

Lawsuit Accuses Apple of Antitrust Violations Over Apple Pay


“Apple Inc was sued on Monday in a proposed class action by payment card issuers accusing the iPhone maker of abusing its market power in mobile devices to thwart competition for its Apple Pay mobile wallet. According to a complaint filed in San Francisco federal court, Apple “coerces” consumers who use its smartphones, smart watches and tablets into using its own wallet for contactless payments, unlike makers of Android-based devices that let consumers choose wallets such as Google Pay and Samsung Pay.”

July 12, 2022

On the web

Payments Platform Adyen Expands Apple’s Tap to Pay Feature on iPhone to More Businesses

9 to 5 MAC

“In April, Adyen announced it would partner with Apple to offer the company’s Tap to Pay feature on the iPhone. The function, which allows businesses to use their iPhones to “seamlessly and securely” accept Apple Pay payments with a simple tap, is now available with the global financial technology platform Adyen.   By partnering with NewStore, businesses, including Vince and Burton, can accept payments with a simple tap of a customer’s iPhone. A blog post shows that Adyen is also partnering with New Black to enable this capability for retailers, including G-Star and Scotch & Soda. Last but not least, it will also be made available directly to retailers and platforms like Nike, Lightspeed Commerce, and Fresha.”

Apple’s Version of Virtual Cards Could Be Coming in iOS 16

Gizmodo Australia

“Just as Google announced it would be adopting virtual cards for shopping through Chrome, Apple is likely also implementing virtual cards in its Safari browser. The news comes from 9to5Mac, which is currently digging through the iOS 16 beta 3, released yesterday afternoon for developers. According to code the site has seen, Apple has apparently been working to implement virtual cards within Safari to keep your online shopping ventures secure across the board. Virtual cards are offered by some banks as an option while shopping online so that your actual card and account information isn’t what’s making the rounds when data breaches occur. It also makes it easier for banks and other institutions to cancel a card on a whim. And it’s a more straightforward mechanism for providing one-time use cards.”

July 6, 2022

On the web

Why Apple’s BNPL Efforts Could Mark a ‘Tipping Point’ in Lending


“Apple Inc.’s expansion into buy-now pay-later financing could be just the beginning of an attempt to shake up the traditional payments system. The consumer-electronics giant has made other ventures into financial services before, including through its Apple Pay payment technology and a co-branded credit card done with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. However, Apple’s BNPL launch, announced in June at its WWDC developer event, is notable because the company has decided to take on lending functions itself through a new in-house finance arm…For Pay Later, Apple is leveraging Mastercard Installments, a program by the card giant that lets lenders make installment offers to customers, and Apple’s new finance arm will maintain state lending licenses. Goldman will be the issuing bank, but “in name only,” according to Noyes, since the smartphone giant is creating a new Apple Financing LLC lending entity that will make credit decisions.”

July 5, 2022

On the web

Apple Wallet Is iPhone’s New Secretly Sticky App


“Getting blue text bubbles in your Messages app, instead of green ones from non-iPhones, is supposedly Apple’s method of device lock-in. But, even more so, Apple Wallet is suddenly becoming the reason to continue using an iPhone—it keeps the device sticky so existing owners don’t jump ship. It’s been a slow burn to creating this must-have app, but now with its hook in a few key areas, like Apple Pay, ID cards and event tickets, the Apple Wallet could become increasingly hard to live without.”

Apple Eyes Fuel Purchases From Dashboard As It Revs Up Car Software


“Apple Inc. wants you to start buying gas directly from your car dashboard as early as this fall, when the newest version of its CarPlay software rolls out, accelerating the company’s push to turn your vehicle into a store for goods and services. A new feature quietly unveiled at Apple’s developer conference this month will allow CarPlay users to tap an app to navigate to a pump and buy gas straight from a screen in the car, skipping the usual process of inserting or tapping a credit card. Details of Apple’s demo for developers have not previously been reported.”

June 13, 2022

Top Post

Apple Pay Later Will Max Out at $1,000 — No Buying a MacBook Pro for You!


“Apple’s upcoming buy now, pay later service will only allow people to borrow a maximum of $1,000 based on their credit rating and other factors, including their Apple ID. While Apple will run soft credit checks before allowing people to use its Apple Pay Later feature when iOS 16 ships this fall, it will reportedly also use the data it already holds on people to inform its money-lending decision. A WSJ report notes that Apple intends to only allow people to borrow $1,000 at most, even if their credit score is good and their Apple ID doesn’t display a history of payment problems.”

June 9, 2022

On the web

Apple Passkey Feature Will Be Our First Taste of a Truly Password-Less Future


“Apple and other tech giants want to get rid of passwords for online accounts and apps. Here’s why that’s going to be a great thing for your online account security.   At its WWDC 2022 keynote on Monday, the iPhone maker announced a new feature called passkeys. It’s essentially a new type of security that seeks to replace passwords for account login purposes. It will debut in the fall on iOS 16, macOS Ventura, and Apple’s other 2022 updates.  See how it works….”

Apple’s Pay Later Installment Credit Scheme Will Live Under a New Lending Subsidiary

Yahoo Finance

“The news that Apple would offer its own “buy now, pay later” service splitting any Apple Pay bill into installments hit the fintech lending world like a thunderbolt. But it turns out the new feature, while simple for consumers, necessitated a bit of backstage reorganizing at Apple, including a whole new subsidiary that will run it…. In order to do it internally, Apple had to form a fully owned but separate subsidiary called Apple Financing LLC, Apple confirmed to TechCrunch after Bloomberg first reported the news today. This company will be doing the actual work of assessing and issuing credit in compliance with the usual requirements and obtain the necessary licenses to work in each regulatory jurisdiction. And of course if everything goes up in flames, only the LLC burns down. It’s important to note that Apple did not get a bank charter for its new Financing LLC — though banks are often lenders, the reverse is not always true. It’s partnering with Goldman Sachs as the Mastercard credential provider rather than take on that role itself, and Pay Later uses the Mastercard Installments program as its basis.”

June 7, 2022

On the web

Apple Officially Enters Buy Now, Pay Later Space

Chain Store Age

“The increasingly popular buy now, pay later (BNPL) flexible payment solution market has a major new player. Almost a year after media reports first circulated suggesting it was getting set to launch a BNPL solution connected to its Apple Pay digital payment service, the tech giant is releasing Apple Pay Later as part of several new upgrades to its Apple Wallet mobile wallet solution. These upgrades are part of a wider operating system update known as iOS16.”

June 6, 2022

On the web

Apple Leaps into BNPL Space as Affirm Stock Takes a Hit

“Apple today announced that it would join the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) fray at its Worldwide Developers Conference 2022, or WWDC.   The service, called Apple Pay Later, will be available through Apple Pay, allowing consumers to pay for purchases in four equal payments over six weeks with no interest or fees.”

June 2, 2022

On the web

Square’s Payment App Will Support Tap to Pay on iPhone Later in 2022


“Square has announced that it will bring Tap to Pay on iPhone support to its existing point of sale app, allowing users to receive contactless payments without any additional hardware.   The feature, which Apple announced in February, essentially allows users to turn an iPhone into a contactless payment terminal. Now, Square says it’s bringing support for the feature to its iOS app. Square says that the new feature will launch later in 2022, but it is debuting an early access program for select merchants starting Tuesday.  At launch, Apple said that Stripe would be an early partner adopting Tap to Pay on iPhone when it’s widely launched.”

May 27, 2022

On the web

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