Apple, Goldman Sachs Wanted to Launch Stock-Trading on iPhones

According to a CNBC report, Apple and Goldman Sachs had ambitious plans to introduce a stock-trading feature for iPhones as equity markets thrived in 2020.

Apple card hero

However, the project quietly faded away last year as market conditions took a downturn, notes the publication citing at least three people familiar with the plans.

The initiative, not previously disclosed, would have expanded Apple’s financial offerings, already powered by Goldman. In 2019, Apple joined forces with the Wall Street titan to launch a credit card.

Later, they introduced buy now, pay later (BNPL) loans and a high-yield savings account, which recently reported over $10 billion in user deposits.

The idea for the investing feature emerged during the Covid pandemic when interest rates hit rock bottom, and individuals, confined to their homes, turned to trading apps like Robinhood, fueling a surge in stock trading and meme stocks.

Apple initiated discussions with Goldman Sachs during this market frenzy in 2020, with plans to unveil the investing feature in 2022.

One proposed scenario involved enabling iPhone users to invest in Apple shares with their spare cash.

However, as market turbulence set in due to rising interest rates and inflation, Apple became concerned about potential user backlash if their product led to investment losses.

Consequently, Apple and Goldman decided to pivot towards launching savings accounts, which benefit from higher interest rates.

Apple card savings account

The current status of the stock-trading project remains uncertain following Goldman CEO David Solomon’s decision to scale back the bank’s consumer endeavors.

Nevertheless, sources suggest that the infrastructure for the investing feature is largely in place, ready for Apple to proceed if it chooses to do so.

Apple’s foray into financial services began with the Apple Card, which generated significant attention three years ago but faced regulatory scrutiny and incurred losses as its user base expanded.

Earlier this year, Goldman introduced a high-interest savings account for Apple Card holders, offering a 4.15% annual percentage yield.

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