Apple and Goldman Sachs are seeking to lure US depositors to a new savings account by offering to pay interest at more than 10 times the national average rate.
The California tech giant and Wall Street bank on Monday launched a new savings account yielding 4.15 per cent a year, having first announced the product in October.
This is well ahead of the average US savings account rate of 0.37 per cent, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It also outstrips competitors such as American Express which is offering 3.75 per cent and Goldman’s standalone savings account that operates under the Marcus brand, which offers 3.9 per cent.
The launch comes as more established banks, in particular regional and smaller lenders, are under growing pressure to offer better savings rates for depositors to stop them transferring cash to higher-yielding products like money market funds, which have offered better returns in line with rising interest rates.
Customers have pulled around $800bn in deposits from US commercial banks since March last year when the Fed first started to lift rates after lenders kept deposit rates relatively low while charging more for loans.
The new savings account is being offered to users of Apple’s credit card product, which is also a partnership with Goldman. Apple is offering savers no fees and no minimum deposit requirements. The maximum balance for an account is $250,000. The deposits will sit with Goldman, which as a licensed bank has access to FDIC insurance.
“Savings helps our users get even more value . . . while providing them with an easy way to save money every day,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice-president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet.
The savings account deepens Apple’s offering of financial services products, which also includes a buy now, pay later programme.
As Apple adds more payments and financial services, commentators have suggested that it is becoming a bank. But Apple’s real strength is that it earns money from hardware sales and non-banking services, said Christian Owens, chief executive of Paddle, a payments company.
“I don’t think Apple wants to be a bank,” he said. “I think Apple can eke out the economics of the bank without actually becoming a bank. They can leverage with Goldman to power all of these financial services and be the conduit to the consumer for a lot of these things, brand it as Apple, take that high-margin cut, and offload all of this sort of underlying responsibility to Goldman.”