Through The Grapevyne
Apr 26, 2022 · 4 minutes
Each month we weigh in on hot topics, buy-outs, new mandates, latest tech buzz and sometimes even news teetering on bizarre. We bring together voices from the industry to share insight and shed light on what’s happening in the world of fintech.
Ep 1: The one where Apple takes a bite out of Open Banking and travel chaos strikes
Apple buys Credit Kudos
There are a few memes out there that would aptly explain the shock many in the industry experienced when the news leaked that tech giant Apple acquired Credit Kudos. We know that Apple makes all sorts of acquisitions, but this is their very first foray into Open Banking.
Credit Kudos’ intelligent products enable businesses to leverage Open Banking to enhance affordability and risk assessments. Our predictive insights are built by combining transaction and loan outcome data. Our products help lenders streamline underwriting, improve accuracy in decision-making, and support customers after acquisition through our engagement tools.
So many predictions are being made on what exactly Apple plans to do, everything from absolutely nothing to Apple using Credit Kudos to enter the buy now, pay (BNPL) later game. Without any statements from either company, these might remain mere possibilities for the foreseeable future.
But never fear… we throw our hat into the ring.
Clare McCaffery, Chief Commercial Officer @ DirectID
“An entry into the BNPL market or a UK launch of the Apple Card seem to be the most promising theories about why Apple purchased Credit Kudos, but the truth is only time will tell. It’s not uncommon for Apple to land grab through hefty acquisitions and sit on them for a long time. Yes, it’s fun to speculate, but the real excitement is what this move says about the tipping point for Open Banking reaching critical mass. Apple famously puts the consumer first in everything they do, they wouldn’t have bought Credit Kudos if they didn't believe that the world is ready to embrace it.”
Luko Flomo, Chief Revenue Officer @ Vyne
“Apple is renowned for acquiring businesses at a remarkable rate of around one per month. There are often few details pertaining to the reason for the purchase and often long delays until the final product launches. It’s truly anyone’s guess as to what they will do with Credit Kudos.
However, my hunch is that they will be looking to offer a credit proposition to consumers. They recently launched a US credit card and rumours are they are keen to launch a BNPL solution too, so either or both options would be viable and add to their payments proposition.
It could also be a speculative land-grab move, given Apple’s capitalisation, hunger and desire to stay ahead of the competition and innovate, as well as the traction Open Banking is gaining and opportunities it creates in the payments and lending world. Whatever they are planning, it proves that Open Banking is here to stay and is the future.”
Refunds amidst travel chaos
Between all the travel pillows and suitcases scattered across airports in the UK over the last few weeks, many people could find themselves trapped in financial limbo, as travel chaos grips the country. Flights have been delayed and cancelled due to staff shortages and sickness due to Covid. Over 1,000 flights were cancelled in the last week alone.
All the planning and saving for that well-deserved pandemic break either got off to an extremely rocky start or ended in complete disaster. For some, the nightmare could get far worse: a missed holiday and now the waiting period for a refund.
The wait, frustration, and added pressure of counting every penny due to the cost of living crisis could leave many with less cash on hand. For instance, when flights are cancelled, you can be given a voucher valid for 12 months or a refund, which can take up to seven days to process. This can become even more complicated if flights are booked through third-party sites and not directly with the airline.
Does this look like a win-win scenario?
Tom Randklev, Head of Product @ CellPoint Digital
“The travel sector is in desperate need of alternative payment methods. A complete overhaul in how payments are made when it comes to security, how long it takes to make a payment and especially the time it takes for refunds to be issued. Airlines and holiday companies will be hit hard by the number of cancellations. The result is a drop in customer sentiment and of course bottom line.”
Damien Cahill, COO & Co-Founder @ Vyne
“We know that the travel sector relies heavily on customer retention. It’s clear that there’ll be quite a few disgruntled holidaymakers and if the refund process is painful, that customer could be lost forever. With a cost of living crisis, it’s important to give people peace of mind about the money they’ve spent and an instant refund does this. We also know from the various research we’ve conducted at Vyne that customers are more likely to return and become loyal to a brand, if instant refunds are offered. It’s a huge opportunity missed and ultimately, the airline will suffer. “