Both Amazon and Apple have made names for themselves by disrupting major sectors: retail for Amazon, music for Apple. Goldman Sachs hopes to join their ranks by disrupting another major industry: banking.
Three years ago, the Wall Street firm introduced Marcus, an online consumer lending and saving arm. Named for Goldman Sachs’ founder Marcus Goldman, the firm has described it as “a startup within a 150-year old firm.”
Goldman Sachs’ goal in creating Marcus is simple. As articulated by Harit Talwar, the bank’s head of global consumer business, the aim is to transform “the distribution and consumption experience of financial services.”
Speaking with Yahoo Finance last week at the Fortune Brainstorm Finance conference, Talwar described the difference between Amazon and Walgreens—and the characteristics that Goldman Sachs hopes to replicate with Marcus: "Think about it — a mom wants to buy diapers. The diapers she buys at Walgreens or the diapers she buys at Amazon are the same diapers. But, with Amazon she's convinced of [the] value, it is easy, it is simple, it's transparent, it's personal, it's repeatable, and she does it from her family room. There is no reason why you need to walk to a branch to do banking.”
Marcus currently counts approximately four million customers accounting for almost $50 billion in deposits and has provided over $4.7 billion in consumer loans. Marcus has also partnered with Apple for its upcoming Apple Card, a physical and digital credit card slated to be launched over the summer.
Adam Dell, head of product for Marcus, believes that Marcus can offer its customers an attractive value proposition. While typical banks charge up to $200 in fees with little interest for savings accounts, Marcus offers up to a 2.25% annual percentage yield on savings accounts with no fees—and opening required balances of as little as $1. Marcus’ customers also have access to no-fee, fixed-rate loans up to $40,000.
What’s more, Dell sees these services as just the beginning, stating that “you will see us move into other categories of finance whether it be investing, retirement, insurance, all of the things that make up a person's financial life are fair game.”