Apple vs. banks

Also: The month of the rebrand and GS design system

The month of the rebrand

We're in at the end of May, and apparently, this is the month for rebrands. Vipps is surprisingly Vipps MobilePay, Sbanken is suddenly "a concept by DNB," and Komplett Bank is Morrow Bank.

We've been involved in Morrow Banks' rebrand by helping them design and implement webpages with three themes on Next and Sanity. Knowit has done the branding, while a team from Stacc together with an internal team from Morrow has adapted the brand for digital surfaces. Safe to say we're now experts in implementing gradients on the web (a topic I'll probably write more about soon).

Morrow Bank webpage

Apple vs. banks

A month ago, Apple quietly launched a new high-yield savings account with an interest rate of 4,15%. In just four days, they brought in nearly $1 Billion in deposits. Now Apple has both a credit card and a savings account. At what point does it makes sense for Apple to step in and cut out other banks for their most profitable segments?

This wouldn't be unprecedented, as the company is already known for restricting third-party access to certain features. For instance, Apple currently limits the accessibility of its NFC chip to only Apple Pay, causing issues for other mobile payment apps like Vipps MobilePay. Consequently, Vipps are trying to get the EU antitrust regulators to force Apple to allow access to its tap-and-go technology without any restrictions. Still, they have yet to be successful so far. Last week this battle between Vipps and Apple reached its peak when DNB (Vipps' primary owner) announced that they are turning off Apple Pay for existing customers in their Sbanken concept.

The standoff between Vipps MobilePay and Apple highlights the potential for conflicts in the payments industry, with two divided camps in Norway: One which sets customer satisfaction above everything else and supports Apple Pay and one part that focuses on the importance of promoting competition and opening up the NFC-chip on the iPhones for other apps.

On one side, I find it admirable that Vipps MobilePay takes this battle against Goliath. From a Nordic perspective, they are large with 11 million users, but from Apple's view, that user base is only 5% of their iPhones sold only last year. Why should Apple open up its NFC chip, considering a new solution would be less secure and more complex to set up than the current Apple Pay solution, where they control everything?

On the other side, I see Vipps MobilePay being very narrow-minded and only focused on Apple as the bad actor without seeing the options in front of them. Vipps can currently add payments via the NFC chip by supporting Apple Pay themselves. Yes, it is a more expensive solution at the moment, but Apple is now integrating the Norwegian BankAxept system as an alternative to Visa and Mastercard-based transactions, making this a possible scenario. The downside of this solution is that why wouldn't the banks themselves add their card to Apple Pay as well? Well, at the moment, all the owner banks are forced not to have Apple Pay, so I guess they could continue with that and say that Vipps is the Apple Pay solution they support.

Concept with Vipps in Apple Pay

To make the issue even more complex, the main owner of BankAxept is Vipps Holding. The FinShift newsletter sums it up: "As the largest shareholder in Vipps Holding, DNB is essentially supporting BankAxept's push to become a payment option in Apple Pay, while also supporting Vipps by denying customers the ability to use Apple Pay."

As Apple's influence in the financial sector continues to grow, it remains to be seen how how the landscape will evolve and adapt. Regardless of the outcome, it is clear that the financial industry is on the precipice of seismic shifts, and Apple's reach in the banking world is bound to make waves for years to come. So far, Apple's strategy and execution in banking have been flawless, leaving us wondering what their next move is. (Could it be Apple Cash in a larger part of the world?)

Goldman Sachs design system

Goldman Sachs has released an enterprise design system called the Goldman Sachs Design System, which is incredibly comprehensive and includes touch screen considerations, accessibility guidelines, do's and don'ts, dashboards, relationship filtering, and search features. In addition, they have also provided open-source Figma kits.

I especially recommend checking out the page where they clarify concepts and terms that form the underlying functional language of the Design System and use the same terminology across components and create a cohesive system and align developers and designers.