The Apple Card could be coming to more markets following new deal

Digital wallets
(Image credit: Visa)

Apple has acquired Credit Kudos, a London-based banking startup that offers APIs for lenders. 

The Block reports that the deal closed earlier this week and was valued at around $150 million/£114 million. A terms of use page on Credit Kudos' website now includes the line: "Credit Kudos is a subsidiary of Apple." 

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 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.

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. 

Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.