Apple (AAPL 2.14%) is one of the most valuable companies in the world. Its adherence to innovation underpins nearly every development and technology it launches into the world. The tech giant has recently focused on developing its own financial ecosystem.
Apple device users are likely aware of these upgrades as they have been released in software updates over the past few years. The company’s first step into finance came when Apple launched Apple Pay in 2014.
Apple Pay provides the foundation for all of its financial services users, like customers and merchants, to stay in communication with each other. With Apple Pay, users can pay for items without having to leaf through a wallet. Instead, they can put their phone or smartwatch on the credit card terminals for payment.
This was just the start of Apple’s financial efforts. The company launched the Apple Cash feature in 2017. With Apple Cash, the tech giant plunged into the field of peer-to-peer electronic payment, which was dominated by companies like PayPalis Venmo or To blockCash App. Now, iPhone users can send money to each other via a simple text message.
Eventually, Apple even released its own credit card. Known as the Apple Card, Apple has partnered with Goldman Sachs and MasterCard to offer Apple users their own credit option. Apple Card holders have received a generous rewards program that offers 2% daily cash back on all purchases and 3% cash back on any Apple product purchase.
More recently, Apple announced the Apple Pay Later feature. This program allows users to split purchases into four different payments over a six-week period. It seems that the rise in popularity of similar products from companies such as Klarna and Affirm has boosted recent efforts by Apple.
The future of Apple’s personal finance
Apple has a long history of developing its financial ecosystem and continues to prioritize new investments in the personal finance sector. But what could be next? Walk in Bitcoin (BTC 1.29%).
Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked last November if he owned Bitcoin during the New York Times DealBook conference. A little taken aback, he replied that he actually owned Bitcoin and had been into cryptocurrencies “for a while”.
When you consider the path Bitcoin has forged over the past decade and Apple’s continued innovation in personal finance, you can imagine this topic was likely covered extensively in Cupertino at Apple headquarters.
Although nothing has been officially released, what would an Apple-Bitcoin integration look like? And more importantly, what would this mean for the future of Bitcoin?
Apple’s robust financial ecosystem provides an ideal foundation for further development with Bitcoin. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine iPhone users having the ability to send Bitcoins to other users with just a text. As more businesses begin to accept cryptocurrencies for payment, it would also make sense for consumers to be able to use purchases for everyday items with crypto with just the tap of a watch or phone. ‘a phone.
Let’s say Apple took that next step and integrated with Bitcoin; it would be the biggest adoption leap the original cryptocurrency has ever received. Although already integrated with other popular financial apps such as Venmo and CashApp, a Bitcoin integration with Apple would immediately bring over a billion iPhone users onto the Bitcoin blockchain.
If Bitcoin were to gain this kind of exposure, it would further strengthen its role in our increasingly digital world. Of course, most of these thoughts are entirely speculative, but this is valuable analysis. Current trends indicate that to stay competitive, Apple (and many other tech companies) will need to find new ways to make Bitcoin more accessible or risk falling behind.
RJ Fulton has positions in Bitcoin. The Motley Fool holds and recommends Apple, Bitcoin, Block, Inc., Goldman Sachs, Mastercard, and PayPal Holdings. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long calls $120 in March 2023 on Apple and short calls $130 in March 2023 on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.