Big Tech, Including Apple, Has Uneven Record in Financial Services
While some have been warning that Big Tech has been coming for banking for years, the actual record of major tech companies expanded into financial services is mixed.
Google Pay’s revamp was widely panned, and the company’s effort to offer bank accounts via a network of bank partners, Google Plex, was axed before it ever went live.
Facebook, despite repeated efforts to push into financial services, has yet to make serious inroads. Its stablecoin-and-wallet project experienced repeated setbacks. Ultimately, the stablecoin project was killed, with its IP being sold off to crypto-focused bank Silvergate.
The wallet associated with the project, Novi, did end up launching a pilot in the US and Guatemala — though it ended up using Paxos’ stablecoin, USDP, rather than its own.
Novi is fairly barebones and appears to have gained little meaningful traction. Facebook’s WhatsApp has rolled out embedded payments in Brazil and India, but uptake has reportedly been slow.
Amazon, perhaps, has had the most success in adding financial features and products — primarily through partnerships. The company now offers small business loans and lines of credit, a number of card-related offerings via partners American Express, JP Morgan Chase, and Synchrony, and BNPL via its partnership with Affirm. Amazon also offers a payment platform, Amazon Pay, though it lags considerably behind other payments solutions like Paypal and Stripe.