Spotlight: Why Apple is becoming a bank

by

Jack Derwin

June 10th 2022 3 minute read

What can’t Apple do? Whether it’s in hardware, software or streaming, the big tech company seems to have the Midas touch. But in recent times, Apple has been getting into payments with its latest push into lending the surest sign yet it might be adding banking to its catalogue.

1. Apple Bank

In an already crowded field, Apple has announced it will launch its own buy now, pay later service, allowing U.S. customers to split purchases.

The threat of competition helped send other BNPL names lower this week – despite Affirm claims that Apple’s entry is actually good for it.

The BNPL push marks the first time Apple is offering a financial product without partners, performing lending, credit checks and more in-house.

It makes you wonder whether this is just the tip of the iceberg – and what the ‘Bank of Apple’ might do next.

2. Listen up

Despite the market correction, Spotify has laid out an ambitious new goal: to make $100 billion in annual revenue within the decade.

Today the figure sits at just one-tenth of that target. While Spotify hasn’t detailed with how it plans to get there, podcasts appear to be central.

Last year, the podcasting arm of the business brought in €200 million alone. Growing at 300%, it represents a major growth opportunity.

3. Three letters

CRM platform Salesforce is getting into the NFT game, launching a cloud service to help businesses launch and manage their tokens.

With the digital token market in free fall right now, Salesforce is a little late to capitalise on the exuberance that was in the market six months ago.

But with scams rife and marketplaces like OpenSea plagued with issues, Salesforce might give interested brands some much-needed confidence.

4. Long hike

Australian interest rates are back on the rise. This week the Reserve Bank of Australia hiked the official cash rate 0.5% to 0.85%.

It brings rates roughly halfway back to where they were pre-pandemic but after two years of easy money, it may be a shock to the system for some.

As central banks try to get on top of inflation, higher rates are expected, worrying markets. For the record, Cathie Woods thinks inflation may have already peaked.

5. No hands

After settling a bitter lawsuit between them, Google’s autonomous driving arm Waymo has joined forces with transport company Uber Freight.

“[We] envision a future where autonomous trucks tackle the long-haul portion of driving, easing some of the burden of the increasing demand for freight,” Uber says.

While that future is likely a long way off, if realised it would help out a bruised and battered supply chain in need of relief.

 

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