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Is Chase the Right Successor for Apple’s Card Program?

Apple is reportedly on the verge of ending its card relationship with Goldman Sachs.

Is Chase the natural successor to take over?

A report Sunday (Dec. 3) by Bloomberg News argues the partnership makes sense, as the bank already has a “significant” relationship with Apple.

For example, Chase was one of the earliest Apple Pay partners, and stores some of the tech giant’s approximately $60 billion cash on hand, and is one of the largest credit card partners for transactions at Apple retail outlets, both online and in stores.

In addition, the report said, Chase offers cards that use Mastercard’s network, the same system powering the Apple Card.  

Finally, Bloomberg contends Apple may want to move its Apple Cash debit card over to Chase, which already has a network of debit cards that the Apple Cash card could become a part of, giving customers benefits such as ATM access.

Last week saw a report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that Apple was ending its partnership with Goldman, with plans to pull out of its contract in the next 12 to 15 months, marking a speedy turnaround for a program that was initially set to last through 2029.

“While it remains unclear whether Apple has already lined up a new issuer for its credit card, Goldman has reportedly discussed the possibility of handing over the program to American Express,” PYMNTS wrote. “However, Amex has expressed concerns about certain aspects of the program, including its loss rates.”

Also in the running, that report said, is Synchrony Financial, a company that is the largest issuer of store credit cards in the U.S., and which has been actively campaigning to secure partnerships with tech companies. Synchrony initially competed against Goldman for the Apple program.

The report also noted that the end of the card partnership represents a setback for Apple’s services business, something the company has depended on more and more amid slowing iPhone sales.

Still, the Goldman partnership is likely just a small portion of Apple’s overall revenue stream. In the September quarter, Apple’s overall sales dipped less than 1% annually, while services revenue rose by about 16%.

Meanwhile, Goldman is reportedly looking to shed the card business it purchased from GM in 2020 for around $2.5 billion as it shifts away from consumer banking.