Finance

The Apple Card is the start of Goldman's transformation into a consumer powerhouse, CEO says

Key Points
  • "Apple Card is big, but it's also a beginning," Solomon says in an internal memo.
  • "In the decades to come, I expect us to be a leader in our consumer business, just like we are in our institutional and corporate businesses," he says.
  • The co-branded credit card has been rolled out to all U.S. customers, featuring cash-back policy of up to 3%, as well as a titanium, laser-etched physical card.
David M. Solomon, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, speaks during the Milken Institute's 22nd annual Global Conference in Beverly Hills, April 29, 2019
Mike Blake | Reuters

With the official launch of the Apple Card, Goldman Sachs is embarking on a multi-decade journey to becoming a leader in consumer banking just as it has been in Wall Street banking and trading, CEO David Solomon said.

"Apple Card is big, but it's also a beginning," Solomon said Tuesday in an internal memo obtained by CNBC. "In the decades to come, I expect us to be a leader in our consumer business, just like we are in our institutional and corporate businesses, with customer-centricity at the core of everything we do."

The co-branded credit card rolled out Tuesday to all U.S. customers, featuring a cash-back policy of up to 3% as well as a titanium, laser-etched physical card.

"Apple Card makes a typically frustrating application process easy; it provides an interface with more useful information for the customer; and it places greater importance on customer privacy and security," Solomon said.

VIDEO3:1803:18
Apple's credit card is now available to all U.S. customers

Apple wanted Goldman to approve as many as 100 million-plus U.S. iPhone users and the bank is dipping into subprime lending with the card, CNBC previously reported.

Here's the full internal memo from Solomon:


August 20, 2019
Goldman Sachs and Apple Co-branded Card Launches to the Public

Earlier this morning, our co-branded credit card with Apple launched to the public in the US. With a couple of taps on an iPhone, consumers will be able to apply for a credit card with Goldman Sachs. The launch stands as a milestone for our consumer business and the firm. I am proud of our team, this partnership with Apple and the development of a product that is worthy of our brand.

We've been in business for 150 years, but Main Street banking is new for us. Our partnership with Apple will accelerate customer-centric innovation in the credit card industry and is a testament to the remarkable progress we've made in just a few years through Marcus, a growing disruptor in consumer financial services. Today we are helping consumers take control of their financial lives with simple and transparent products, and we have $5 billion in loan balances, more than $50 billion in deposits and 4 million customers – all without the traditional brick and mortar branch model.

Apple Card makes a typically frustrating application process easy; it provides an interface with more useful information for the customer; and it places greater importance on customer privacy and security. As a beta user for the last few months, I'm a happy customer and use the card all the time both through Apple Pay and the titanium physical card.

Every time I visit the "Cookie Jar" – the section of the 26th floor at 200 West Street where the credit card business is being developed – I am impressed by the passion, energy and collaboration of teams across the firm's divisions working on this product. It is a true demonstration of One Goldman Sachs.

Apple Card is big, but it's also a beginning. With no real legacy technology or a longstanding consumer business to defend, we are positioned to innovate unlike many others in the industry. In the decades to come, I expect us to be a leader in our consumer business, just like we are in our institutional and corporate businesses, with customer-centricity at the core of everything we do.

Looking ahead, there will be new learnings and challenges – issues will arise, problems will occur and not every customer will be satisfied – but we will respond with agility, striving for continuous progress and looking to meet the expectations that people have of us. Thank you to everyone who made this launch possible.

David