The WSJ says the Goldman-Apple deal is dead. Apple says it hasn’t.

Apple is quietly debating a topic of The Wall Street Journal claiming that the tech giant has “pulled the plug” on its Goldman Sachs partnership that covers the Apple Card credit card and savings account. However, Apple said that both companies remain focused on providing “an exceptional experience” for customers, in a statement provided to TechCrunch. However, the Journal reports that is not the case – citing unnamed sources, it claims that the tech giant has sent a proposal to Goldman to exit from their partnership in 12 to 15 months. .

No such exit has been formally announced at this time, but there have been several reports detailing how the partnership has progressed over the years, including a July 2023 article from The information.

The report notes the problems Goldman faces with Apple Card, such as its missed traditional forms of credit card revenue, such as annual fees, late fees, and foreign transaction fees. Instead, it gets payments from loans given to cardholders who spend on their Apple products in monthly installments. The article also mentions some of the bad PR the Apple Card received after a viral tweet showed that some women with good credit were given worse terms than their husbands. While regulators found no wrongdoing, the incident left a stain on Apple’s reputation.

Later, as Goldman moved away from its consumer strategy, The Reported by the Wall Street Journal that the bank began shopping its Apple partnership to American Express. JPMorgan Chase was also named as another potential partner. Now, the WSJ points to other problems, as well, such as Apple’s help that all cardholders are billed at the beginning of the month, which causes headaches in customer service, and its push to approve the majority of applicants.

While Apple didn’t specifically say The WSJ was wrong, it released a statement that left room for doubt over the deal’s status:

“Apple and Goldman Sachs are focused on providing an exceptional experience for our customers to help them lead healthier financial lives,” a company statement said. “The award-winning Apple Card has been well received by consumers, and we will continue to innovate and deliver the best tools and services for them,” said Apple.

The statement can be interpreted in several ways. In a read, Apple said that the deal is ongoing and will not change until Apple informed it has. In another reading, Apple wants to simply cast doubt on any negotiations that may be underway so that its customers don’t worry that their Apple MasterCard will suddenly become Amex, for example.

However, it is worth pointing out that Apple will not record about the WSJ’s headline, the details of its report, or speculations on new partnerships beyond the given statement. It also leaves room for doubt, as Apple has not been transparent about the specific points made by the WSJ.

Chatter about the potential end of the Apple-Goldman deal has continued to grow in recent months, despite the fact that Goldman announced a year ago that the deal extended until 2029. While that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways for companies to get out of the deal, it does mean there are contractual obligations that make it difficult for either party to perform. As The Information also reported, Goldman is unlikely to simply offload the business without Apple’s permission. In addition, the report says that Apple also has an agreement to operate the Apple Card through Mastercard’s network until at least 2026. While Apple may partner with another bank, the report sets the timeframe for -unrave the Goldman deal in about 18 months – which is in line with the new WSJ estimate. If there is smoke…

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