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| 2 minutes read

Apple Adds Another Financial String to its Wallet

Tech giant Apple is apparently continuing its move into the financial services field, with the launch of a current account in collaboration with Goldman Sachs. 

The company launched Apple Pay in 2014, allowing users to store payment card details on their iPhone, and use them to make contactless payments with their phone. In 2019, they released Apple Card, a credit card, which, when used in combination with Apple Pay, allows users to collect 3% daily cashback from selected merchants. In this latest move, the Apple Card account can be linked with the Goldman Sachs savings account, with cashback being deposited into the savings account. Users can also deposit their own money into the account, to take advantage of the high interest rate - which they say is more than ten times the current national average (in the United States).

Apple of course is firmly established in the technology field, and these financial services are not a move away from the core business, but a way to enable expansion. With your Apple Card details stored on your iPhone, it's easier to make purchases. With those purchases generating cashback, which then receives an attractive savings rate, there is an even bigger incentive for Apple customers to stick with the brand they know. There is arguably also a psychological pull toward using this "free" money that Apple have generated for you in purchasing more goods and services from Apple.

Apple themselves are known to be savvy in protecting their intellectual property, and a check of the trade mark registers shows that they already have comprehensive protection for relevant marks covering these new services. The savings account itself doesn't appear to be being offered under the Apple name, and so no savings-based brand name has been protected (at least insofar as publicly available trade mark registers indicate), but the timeline of when their EU trade mark registrations were filed shows clear progression in the financial services of interest under other marks. Many of Apple's oldest registrations focus on consumer credit and insurance, which are to be expected where the core product range is a relatively high-priced range of technology goods. 

Under the core APPLE and Apple Logo brands, some filings cast the net widely in terms of the range of financial services covered, and again, this makes sense for a company like Apple, who regularly explore new offerings, but of course this leaves these rights vulnerable to revocation where these potential interests do not materialise into actual interests in the relevant time period. 

For specific product/service names, however, the progression is clearer. Filings for APPLE PAY dating from 2014, as you would expect, focus primarily on payment and transaction services. By 2019, filings for APPLE CARD and APPLE DAILY CASH cover a broad range of services including payments, credit, and insurance and warranties, leaving the door open to them to add to the range of services offered under these names, and suggesting that these offerings were still concepts in progress when the applications were filed. Meanwhile, a 2022 filing for the Apple Logo in combination with the words  PAY LATER covered financing of purchases and bill payment services, suggesting a move toward "buy now pay later" services, which was confirmed with the announcement of "Apple Pay Later" a few weeks ago in the US.

Given the rate of Apple's progression into the financial services field in recent years, and also their ability to innovate in unexpected ways, its difficult to predict where they will be in five- to ten years' time. Maybe they will eventually introduce their own savings accounts, offer investment services, or even introduce their own digital currency. What is very clear is that Apple are non longer just a technology company, and even nearly fifty years after they were established, their range of goods and services is still very much evolving.

Starting today, Apple Card users can choose to grow their Daily Cash rewards with a Savings account from Goldman Sachs, which offers a high-yield APY of 4.15 percent1 — a rate that’s more than 10 times the national average


brands & trade marks, financial services