Millions of people use Apple (News - Alert) computers, iPhones, iPads, and other devices. But would they bank with them? That’s what London-based consulting firm, KAE, along with Toluna, attempted to find out.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based manufacturer is sitting on so much cash that it’s paying their investors a dividend. Entering financial services might be one thing that Apple might do with their money, but they would still put their signature stamp on it if they did.
“The strength of Apple’s relationship with consumers is a result of its ability to redefine the terms of competition in an industry and design emotionally rich ‘human’ experiences,” Lee Powney, chief commercial officer at KAE said.
“This research tells us Apple customers perceive a fit where at first glance we would assume the brand could not travel. To observe a ‘wrong’ and ‘make right’ is a core characteristic of this business. Apple’s ethos, its way of being and way of doing is instinctively understood by its customers. This makes it a truly dangerous animal to a startling array of sectors,” he added.
Although banking may not seem like an obvious market for Apple, in 10 of the people they surveyed would consider moving their money over to Apple. Of those who were already Apple customers, 43 percent said they would bank with the company.
The respondents who would do their banking with Apple considered themselves technologically savvy (81 percent, in fact) and were already banking online. Many of them also wanted to use their smartphones for banking, an answer that’s not surprising considering that Apple makes one of the most popular phones available, the iPhone (News - Alert).
Even if Apple did start banking, the conventional banks would not disappear overnight. In the U.K., 18 percent of people bank with Lloyds Banking Services, while 14 percent bank with Barclays. Stateside, 23 percent of people bank with Bank of America while 1 in 10 bank with Chase.
Apple could quickly dominate the banking market if they chose to do so. “Apple would face no capital constraints in building a deposits base. With a proven ability to cross-sell additional products, along with the highest sales per square foot of any retailer and an affluent customer base, it wouldn’t take long for Apple to become one of the most profitable consumer banks in recent times,” KAE managing director David Rankin said.
“Once the power of the Apple brand and its options for growth are understood,” he added, “it tends to prompt one of three responses from financial institutions: accelerated invention, defensive benchmarking or blissful issue avoidance. We know that not everyone would be impressed by the arrival of an ‘iBank’; we also know that the boldness of the next big Apple move will inspire and terrify in equal measure.”
Edited by Jennifer Russell