Apple has acquired Credit Kudos, a London-based banking startup that offers APIs for lenders.
In a statement, Apple said: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
Challenger credit brand
Credit Kudos raised (opens in new tab) a £5 million Series A funding round in April 2020. At the time, the startup founders said their aim was to become a "challenger credit bureau". The startup securely analyses open banking data to help lenders make more informed choices.
Credit scores are mysterious, to say the least, with many different companies offering their own opinions – and often improving scores just by signing up to their services.
Apple Card expansion?
Exactly why Apple spent so much on Credit Kudos remains to be seen, but the company has been working on its Apple Card tools for a while and the startup might help expand into the UK.
By using machine learning to help generate credit scores, Apple could use Credit Kudos' technology to expand into lending. One such area where this would be useful is "buy now, pay later" services.
>Apple Wallet adds a driver's license feature for some users in the US (opens in new tab)
>Apple Pay and Google Pay cut off some Russian customers (opens in new tab)
>Apple expands its credit card with Apple Card Family (opens in new tab)
Klarna, AfterPay, and may others have pioneered BNPL services, which let consumers break down the cost of an item over several months with no interest or additional fees.
We'll likely have to wait to see exactly what Apple's plans are, but expanding Apple Card to the UK, alongside the range of services it offers, seems the safest bet.