Financial Products - Part 1
Apple's financial products include Apple Pay and Apple Credit Card, while Uber offers more financial products and services, including Uber Visa Credit Card and Uber Cash. Microsoft, on the other hand, does not offer any financial products; it does, however, cater to the financial services industry in several ways. It has also invested in fintech startups.
- Apple launched Apple Pay in September 2014 in the US. It describes this product as a new "category of service that will transform mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay."
- It works in most iPhones, particularly the iPhone 6 to the latest iPhones. iPhone users use it to pay for goods and services in retail stores through its NFC chip - built into iPhones.
- Currently, Apple Pay works for iPhone users in at least 40 countries. It supports credit and debit cards from payment networks like Visa, American Express, and MasterCard.
Apple Credit Card
- In August 2019, Apple launched its credit card, called Apple Card. The Apple Card operates through the Wallet app in iPhones.
- It allows customers to pay for goods and services with no fees, less interest, and a new level of privacy.
- The card also offers an enticing rewards program called Daily Cash. Through Daily Cash, customers get back 3% on purchases made at Apple stores, the official website, the mobile app store, iTunes store, and Apple services in general.
- Each time customers use Apple Card with Apple Pay, they got 2% Daily Cash. For all purchases made with Apple Card, customers get 1% Daily Cash.
- While Microsoft does not offer any fintech products or financial products, it caters to the financial services industry in several ways. The company has fintech initiatives.
- Through its investment arm, M12, Microsoft has invested in several fintech and financial companies. Over 3% of the company's investments - via M12 - are fintech companies. Some include Suade, Invest & Co, idos, BitPay, and Sumscope.
- In 2014, the company collaborated with FS-ISAC as an effort to combat cybercrime in the financial industry.
- In December 2018, Microsoft partnered with ZestFinance, a fintech startup, to enable better transparency to AI-powered models. The partnership was done to "integrate ZestFinance’s artificial intelligence tools with Microsoft products like its Azure cloud computing service."
- Microsoft offers AI and data services to the financial industry. Companies in the financial industry mainly use its Azure and Dynamics 365 products.
Partnership with GoBank
- Uber first ventured into the financial industry in 2016. At the time, it struck a partnership with GoBank so it could offer debit cards and business checking accounts, thus allowing drivers to be paid right away, rather than weekly.
- The service, which was launched with an account fee of $8.95 monthly, works like a standard business checking account. Not only does it collect instant payments, users (Uber drivers) can pay bills, transfer money, and deposit funds from other accounts.
- The account allows users to order checks and add "cash to their account for free by stopping into any Walmart that has a GoBank location or by paying a small fee at any participating 7-11, Rite Aid, CVS or Walgreens."
- It was rolled out in March 2016 as Uber Debit Card. Uber announced in October 2019 that the monthly fee for this service would no longer apply for drivers in the US and a few other countries.
Uber Visa Credit Card
- In November 2017, Uber launched a credit card called the Uber Visa Credit Card.
- The co-branded credit card was issued by Barclays and has no annual fees or international transaction fees.
- By using the card, consumers can earn up to 5% rewards on select purchases.
- For any Uber service, users could earn 5% back. For hotels, dining, and airfare, they could earn 3%. For all other purchases, they could earn 1% back.
- For users with this card, Uber promises exclusive invitations to local events, and mobile phone insurance.
- In September 2018, Uber launched Uber Cash to offer a closed-loop payment system that allows customers to add funds to the stored value account easily. It works via gift or payment cards. Consumers load value "into their Uber accounts and get rewards [or points] for doing so."
- Uber Cash would then be used to pay for anything on the Uber ecosystem, including food delivery via its Uber Eats network, bike sharing through its JUMP Bikes platform, and standard rides on Uber in general.
- It was set up as the home for Uber's Visa Local Offers credits, its gift cards, card rewards, and loyalty redemption. As described by PYMNTS, it is the "Starbucks experience gone Uber."
The Launch of Uber Wallet & Uber Money
- In October 2019, Uber created a new business division for its financial services products called Uber Money.
- It announced that this unit would be for its current and future suite of financial products - including its branded payment cards and Uber Cash.
- On the same day, Uber announced the launch of its digital wallet called Uber Wallet.
- Uber Wallets is expected to launch on the Uber driver app before the end of November 2019, after which, it would be integrated into the Uber Eats app in 2020.
- Uber Wallet allows people to view their earnings and spending history, save & manage money, and view every Uber financial product.
In order to identify the most recent financial products and services from Apple, Microsoft, and Uber, we relied on their website. We leveraged the "news and press releases" section to find announcements of new financial-related products or services within the past five years. For Uber and Apple, this was a successful strategy. Microsoft made no mention of any new financial/fintech product it has launched. It only mentioned its partnership with fintech companies.
As an attempt to find Microsoft's recent financial products and services, we thoroughly reviewed the company's annual reports within the past five years. There, it offered some insights on its fintech initiatives, but no product announcement was made. As a last resort, we turned to credible publications, including Tech Crunch and Business Insider. These platforms only mentioned that Microsoft serves companies in the financial industry. Since they made no mention of financial products/services by the company, we concluded that it does not have any.