Goldman’s Bid For GM’s Card Business Shows Connected Commerce Lure

Goldman, Barclays Compete For GM’s Card Business

Is the car destined to become the next big portal for eCommerce?

That’s apparently the vision being pitched by investment banking and financial services giants Goldman Sachs and Barclays as they pursue a deal for General Motors’ credit card.

New York-based Goldman, which has been pushing aggressively into the consumer lending market, and Barclays, which is based in London, are among a small group of bidders vying for the GM card, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources familiar with the jockeying.

However, while GM’s credit card is attractive on its own, with about $3 billion in outstanding balances, Goldman Sachs and Barclays are both pushing a larger vision under which the automobile becomes a mobile, eCommerce hub, according to the Journal.

Exactly how this would work is apparently still being hammered out, but the two big financial services firms are intrigued by the possibility that consumers in the not-too-distant future will not only pay for gas from the driver’s seat, but will also buy groceries, pay for takeout and reserve hotel rooms, the Journal notes.

In a first step, GM is already incorporating various smart features into its dashboards, enabling drivers to order dinner or book a hotel room with a tap of an icon.

GM is expected to announce a winner in the bidding competition for its credit card in a matter of weeks, according to the Journal.

That said, there is no guarantee that the auto giant will go ahead with the sale of its credit card, and may simply continue to do business with its current issuer, Capital One, the WSJ reported.

For Goldman Sachs, the pursuit of the GM credit card deal comes as the investment bank pursues a high-stakes plan to transform itself into a wider-ranging, consumer-banking-focused financial services company.

Goldman teamed up with Apple last year to launch a credit card, while it began offering savings accounts and personal loans four years ago through Marcus, its online banking service.