Apple is developing its own payment processing technology and infrastructure for future financial products in a multi-year plan, according to a new report by Bloomberg. It could also help the company expands its payment features beyond the US.
As reported by Mark Gurman, this ambitious effort would “reduce Apple’s reliance on outside partners.”
A multiyear plan would bring a wide range of financial tasks in-house, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. That includes payment processing, risk assessment for lending, fraud analysis, credit checks and additional customer-service functions such as the handling of disputes.
The effort is focused on future products, rather than Apple’s current lineup of services. Still, the news sent shares of CoreCard Corp. and Green Dot Corp. — two of Apple’s existing partners — down more than 8% apiece on Wednesday. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., another key partner, slipped as much as 1.2%.
That effort would join Apple’s existing card and its recently launched peer-to-peer payment for businesses, although Gurman says it’s aimed for “future products, rather than Apple’s current lineup of services.”
An early report by Bloomberg also shows Apple is working on a “buy now, pay later” feature for Apple Pay transactions.
The service is currently planned to work as follows: When a user makes a purchase via Apple Pay on their Apple device, they will have the option to pay for it either across four interest-free payments made every two weeks, or across several months with interest, one of the people said. The plan with four payments is called “Apple Pay in 4” internally, while the longer-term payment plans are dubbed “Apple Pay Monthly Installments.
In addition, Gurman reports that Apple will keep its partnership with Goldman Sachs while it’s discussing using the in-house technology for the four-installment plan.
For international users, these in-house financial services “may help Apple expand future services to additional countries.”
Apple Pay is currently available in more than 70 countries, but services such as peer-to-peer payments, Apple Card, and Apple Cash are still US-only. “Partners such as CoreCard and Green Dot are focused on the U.S., limiting Apple’s ability to grow,” writes Gurman.
As of now, it’s unclear when Apple could start taking advantage of its in-house financial services.
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