By Hartley Charlton
The Apple-bought company, now renamed Apple Payments Services, is likely behind the new UK-exclusive Apple Wallet features in iOS 17.1, potentially hinting that Apple plans to launch more financial services in the country.
Last year, Apple acquired Credit Kudos, a UK open banking startup that aimed to help lenders earn better solutions. MacRumors has now learned that Apple filed to change the name of Credit Kudos to Apple Payments Services Limited in July. “Credit Kudos” is now simply a trade name for Apple Payments Services.
Credit Kudos provided valuable insights and scores based on loan applications taken from bank transaction and lending performance data sourced from the open banking system Great Britain. The ability to see account balances directly in Apple Wallet is a new UK-exclusive feature in iOS 17.1, based on the country's regulated Open Banking API. Since Credit Kudos' expertise is focused on open banking in the UK, it is highly likely that last year's acquisition is behind the new feature.
It's unclear what Apple has planned for the Credit Kudos technology in the future, but it almost certainly goes beyond the balance visibility in Apple Wallet, especially considering Apple paid £131 million ($170 million). for the company in March 2022. The relatively recent decision to rename the company Apple Payments Services also suggests that the company's work continues. MacRumors understands that 31 employees have left Credit Kudos following the Apple acquisition, but a team of more than a dozen employees, as well as co-founder and CEO Freddie Kelly, remain with the company.
Credit Kudos API offered lenders the ability to make faster and automated credit decisions with less risk and higher acceptance rates. So it's likely that the company's technology could help Apple launch the Apple Card in the UK. The UK is one of Apple's most important markets: the country has the largest number of Apple Stores outside the US and China, and new features and services are often the first to reach the UK after launching in the US.
Apple's main credit product , Apple Card, available exclusively in the USA. It's possible that Apple could modify the Credit Kudos technology to work with the growing US open banking sector to strengthen the Apple Card credit checking system, but Apple could also use it to check the creditworthiness of the Apple Card applications directly in the UK as Credit Kudos is a licensed credit reporting agency.
Credit markets and financial regulation vary widely in countries around the world, so it won't be easy for Apple to launch Apple Card on the international level. Apple will likely have to look for specific solutions for lending decisions in each country, so it is likely that Credit Kudos could become the credit checking platform of choice in the UK.
Following the success of Apple Card in the US, it may make sense for Apple to expand into foreign markets. During a visit to Germany in 2019, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed his interest in launching Apple Card internationally.
Apple often acquires small businesses to bolster its technology and expertise without explicitly or immediately turning it into a product or service. On the other hand, many acquisitions do become key parts of the Apple ecosystem. In recent years, Apple has acquired companies such as Shazam, a music recognition service, and Drive.ai, a self-driving vehicle company. Acquired apps such as Dark Sky and Workflow were merged or became new Apple apps. Dedicated classical music streaming service Primephonic is one of the latest companies to be integrated into existing Apple products and become the Apple Music Classical app.
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