The Apple Card—Apple’s hotly anticipated credit card collaboration with Goldman Sachs—is due to debut this summer.
But, as Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky pointed out to Goldman Sachs’ Harit Talwar on stage at the Brainstorm Finance conference in Montauk, N.Y., today, “It is the summer.”
Don’t read too much into the fact that we’ve yet to see the Apple Card, responded Talwar, the global head of Goldman’s consumer business. “It will be released this summer,” he emphasized. “Last I heard, it’s still summer—and we will launch [the Apple Card] in the summer.”
Some have wondered whether the Apple Card, in its quest to be consumer-friendly, is in fact too consumer-friendly. Featuring virtually no fees and robust cash-back rewards, there are questions on how the venture will become profitable (Citigroup reportedly pulled out of talks with Apple on the project due to such fears). But Talwar said Goldman is “delighted” to partner with Apple and envisions the credit card benefiting enormously from the tech giant’s massive consumer footprint.
“The Apple Card is uniquely integrated in the Apple ecosystem; it’s the best card to use with the iPhone,” he said. “It is a card that helps consumers manage spending and borrowing in a far more responsible way. It is about ease, and being on the side of the consumer.”
Convenience is at the core of the investment banking giant’s pivot into the realm of consumer banking, which launched three years ago and has yielded businesses like Marcus by Goldman Sachs. The branchless online bank now offers personal loans and savings accounts to more than 4 million customers, and Talwar said Goldman’s consumer division thinks of itself “as a 150-year-old startup” keen on disrupting the consumer banking space.
“Our purpose is to disrupt the distribution and consumption of financial services—pretty much what Amazon has done, and is doing, to retail, or what Apple did to the music industry,” he said. “We believe we can do that.”
Goldman believes it can achieve those lofty aims, Talwar noted, because it’s entered an industry where more than 70% of millennials “would rather visit the dentist than their bank branch,” a state of affairs that he described as “sad.”
“When we look at the consumer financial services business, we’re very, very, very focused on making life easier for the consumer,” he added. “What consumers want is simple [and] transparent, not complex, [which is] what they get from the banking industry as a whole. When they see complexity, they lose trust.”
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