If you attended the Swoboda Credit Union Conference on 23rd May in Portlaoise, you’ll have heard the economist Alan McQuaid asking the audience to look beyond existing new market entrants, such as Revolut, or longstanding speculation about the plans of Facebook, Google [paywall] and Amazon, and pay attention to the emerging drive into retail financial services from Apple. Alan noted that, like credit unions, Apple has very high levels of trust and loyalty, so would compete on those factors directly with credit unions. Currently, Apple’s presence in the GB and Irish financial services markets is limited to the Apple Wallet, but in the US there is a card and a savings account – the latter has acquired more deposits since its launch in April than Monzo since its launch in 2015.
Alan’s observation is prescient – Apple’s success and its strategy are discussed in these very interesting blog posts by commentators Chris Skinner, here, and Linas Beliūnas, here. Apple has earned the trust of its customers through generally delivering excellent customer experience (and, of course, clever marketing to reinforce that perception). Given its scale and investment capability, it is likely to be effective in financial services.
How can credit unions stay ahead with their members so that when Apple arrives on this side of the Atlantic it raids banks not credit unions?