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Apple, Goldman Sachs abandon stock trading app plans

Apple’s stocks app could have been used for trading

Apple and Apple Card financial partner Goldman Sachs are said to have abandoned nascent plans to co-develop a stock trading app like Robin Hood for iPhones, but it’s not completely clear why.

Reportedly, Apple started working on investment features on the iPhone when interest rates were historically low during the height of the Covid pandemic. Conversations are said to have started in 2020 amidst the meme stock bonanza.

The project initially had a scheduled 2022 roll-out.

Sources familiar with the matter, cited by CNBC on Wednesday, said that Apple was concerned about user backlash if investments lost money with the assistance of a software product developed by Apple. Efforts reportedly shifted to Apple Savings, and its high-yield for users, as compared to traditional savings accounts.

Wednesday’s report claims that the infrastructure for the project is “mostly built” if Apple decides to execute the previous plan.

The news probably comes as a great relief to app-based stock trading services like those provided by Robin Hood, and Cash App’s investing services. Both products have an incredibly large contingent of iPhone users, and have programs for low-dollar investments in fractions of a share of stock.

If the report is accurate, another factor for the breakdown may be due to a potentially fraught relationship between Apple and Goldman Sachs. The financial firm is reportedly bleeding money from its management of Apple Card.

Goldman helped launch the Apple Card in 2019 and reportedly spent roughly $350 to acquire every new Apple Card customer. In 2022, it scaled back its efforts to turn its consumer savings business, Marcus, into a fully-fledged digital bank.

Executives of Goldman Sachs’ collection of businesses known as Platform Solutions said in January 2023 its consumer division may break even in 2025. That target was initially set for the end of 2022.

Apple Card, Apple Savings, and Apple Pay Later are now the majority of Goldman Sachs consumer lending initiatives. While publicly, Goldman Sachs says that it remains committed to the Apple Card, it is said to be looking for an exit to the arrangement.

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