Apple Card May Go International After UK Acquisition

Apple Card international expansion

When the Cupertino-based tech giant first launched its Apple Card, CEO Tim Cook said the service would not remain a U.S.-only offering. Since then, we’ve not seen any indication of Apple Card becoming available elsewhere. However, Apple’s recent purchase of U.K. credit scoring firm Credit Kudos may signal Apple Card’s international expansion.

Credit Kudos, Providing Credit Scoring for Banks

Credit Kudos is a startup that helps lenders make better decisions on underwriting loans. Described by financial research publication The Block as an “open banking startup,” Credit Kudos has been around since 2015. Its services help lenders make faster decisions while reducing risks.

In the past year, such startups have been popular acquisitions in Europe. This one, though, is the first to be grabbed up by a tech giant. Predictably, card network operators Mastercard and Visa have driven the acquisition rush. Visa bought Swedish open banking firm Tink in June 2021, and Mastercard purchased Aiia, a Danish firm in September.

Hinting at an International Apple Card?

Naturally, Apple’s not giving us much to go on here. The tech firm hasn’t even publicly confirmed the sale, let alone what its plans are for Credit Kudos. Cupertino could plan to leverage the company’s services for expanding the Apple Card to the U.K. and other European countries.

Even though Apple hasn’t officially announced the acquisition, some indicators shine clear as day. On the Credit Kudos website, links for its privacy policy and website terms of use points to Apple’s pages. This is a recent change, as an archive of the page from March 13, 2022, provides internal links for those policies instead.

Unspecified sources indicate the deal cost Apple a modest $150 million. When Apple created the Apple Card in partnership with Goldman Sachs, the financial firm called it “the most successful credit card launch ever.” In 2021, JD Power ranked Apple Card first among midsized credit cards. There’s little doubt the same could hold true of international expansion.

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