Goldman Sachs Offers to Reevaluate Apple Card Credit Limits After Claims of Gender Bias

Apple banking partner Goldman Sachs has issued another statement regarding allegations made earlier in the week that some credit decisions for Apple Card have been made in a discriminatory manner on the basis of gender.


In a typed statement, an image of which was shared on Twitter on Monday night with the comment "We hear you #AppleCard," Goldman Sachs retail bank CEO Carey Halio said that the bank would take another look at credit lines for customers who expected higher limits.
"We have not and never will make decisions based on factors like gender," Halio said. "In fact, we do not know your gender or marital status during the ‌Apple Card‌ application process."
The CEO added that Goldman Sachs worked with a third-party to review its credit decisioning process "to guard against unintended biases and outcomes."
If you believe that your credit line does not adequately reflect your credit history because you may be in a similar situation, we want to hear from you. Based on additional information that we may request, we will re-evaluate your credit line.
Over the weekend, app developer David Heinemeier Hansson claimed on social media that his ‌‌Apple Card‌‌ credit limit was twenty times that offered to his wife, even though the couple has been married for many years, file joint tax returns, and live in a community property state where all income and assets acquired while married are considered jointly owned.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak also reported that his ‌‌Apple Card‌‌ credit limit was ten times that offered to his wife, with the Wozniaks in a similar financial situation where all assets are jointly owned.

In response, the New York State Department of Financial Services announced that it would would examine whether the algorithm used to make the credit limit decisions violates state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex.

In Goldman Sachs' original response to the controversy, the bank maintained that factors like gender are never used in credit decisions and explained how members of a family could receive very different credit decisions.

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Apple and Goldman Sachs Expected to Launch Credit Card Later This Year With Unique Features in Wallet App

Apple and investment bank Goldman Sachs plan to launch a joint credit card later this year, according to The Wall Street Journal.


The report claims the card will be rolled out to Apple employees for internal testing in the next few weeks and officially launch later this year. The card would be accessible through the Wallet app on iPhone, potentially with unique features for setting spending goals, tracking rewards, and managing balances.
Executives have discussed borrowing visual cues from Apple's fitness-tracking app, where "rings" close as users hit daily exercise targets, and sending users notifications about their spending habits. There also could be notifications based on analysis of cardholders' spending patterns, alerting them for example if they paid more than usual for groceries one week.
The card will be issued by Goldman Sachs and use Mastercard's payment network, according to the report. The card is said to offer around two percent cashback on most purchases and potentially more on Apple products and services.

Apple has tweaked the Wallet app's interface in the iOS 12.2 beta, potentially foreshadowing the credit card's arrival.

Wallet app in iOS 12.2 beta on left, previous version on right

The Wall Street Journal first reported on these plans last year, noting that the Goldman Sachs card could replace the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards currently issued in the United States. Apple is expected to collect a higher percentage of fees from the Goldman Sachs card, boosting its services revenue.


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Apple Teaming Up With Goldman Sachs for Apple Pay-Branded Credit Card

Apple is teaming up with investment bank Goldman Sachs for the launch of a new joint credit card that would be placed under the Apple Pay branding. The card could launch as soon as early 2019, according to The Wall Street Journal.

At the same time, Apple would end its partnership with Barclays, which offered customers an Apple rewards program and financing deals through a Barclaycard Apple Rewards Visa. For the new Goldman partnership, which will replace the Barclaycard, the bank is set to offer in-store loans to Apple customers buying iPhones and other Apple products.


Other specifics of the deal are still being decided upon, people familiar with the matter said, mainly including the terms and benefits of the planned credit card, "including the perks for customers." The Barclays/Apple card currently offers interest-free financing on Apple devices and points toward Apple gift cards.
Apple Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are preparing to launch a new joint credit card, a move that would deepen the technology giant’s push into its customers’ wallets and mark the Wall Street firm’s first foray into plastic.

The planned card would carry the Apple Pay brand and could launch early next year, people familiar with the matter said.
Apple is believed to be adding more focus onto its growing services business, which Apple Pay is part of, and the Goldman Sachs partnership could be a way for the company to spread even more awareness of the digital wallet. In a report on Apple Pay adoption by Loup Ventures earlier this year, 16 percent of global iPhone owners were said to have activated Apple Pay. The researchers estimated widespread adoption for the service at 3-5 years from now, "given integration OS and iOS makes it the easiest to use digital wallet."

Apple first debuted Apple Pay in the fall of 2014, and although many retailers joined in support of the platform it has faced push back from companies like Target and Walmart as each try to develop their own digital wallet service. Last spring, Apple said it wasn't worried about the slow adoption of Apple Pay because it saw the mobile wallet as on track to soon become its customers' "primary payment system."

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Apple in Talks With Goldman Sachs Over Potential iPhone Buyer Finance Options

Apple is in talks with its investment bank Goldman Sachs about the possibility of offering customers financial loans when buying Apple products, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.


The Wall Street firm is in talks to offer financing to shoppers buying phones, watches and other gadgets from Apple, people familiar with the matter said. Customers purchasing a $1,000 iPhone X could take out a loan from Goldman instead of charging it to credit cards that often carry high interest rates.
According to WSJ, talks between Apple and Goldman Sachs remain at an early stage and could still fall apart, while both the tech giant and the investment bank declined to comment on the report.

Goldman Sachs reportedly sees the potential partnership as a way of growing its new consumer bank, as it looks beyond corporate clients to more fully embrace retail banking and consumer lending. Two years ago the investment firm launched Marcus, an online lender that helps people refinance credit-card debt, while the bank is also building a "point-of-sale" financing business that will offer loans to shoppers at checkout, according to people familiar with the firm who spoke to WSJ.

In September 2015, Apple partnered with Citizens Financial Group to offer customers zero-interest loans for iPhone upgrades and higher-interest options for other device purchases. Part of Goldman's discussions with Apple are said to involve "taking over some form of the upgrade program", which started when wireless providers began reducing buyer subsidies for iPhones.

Apple's iPhone upgrade program is designed for users who want to have the newest iPhone every year, and comes with AppleCare+ included. Those who sign up for the program can trade-in their current iPhone for a new model after 12 monthly installments are made, starting a new cycle of the program each year.

Related Roundup: 2018 iPhones

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