Why Big Tech Is Staying Out of Financial Institutions’ Way

It has become a familiar story over the last few decades: a major tech company such as Amazon, Apple, or Google announces a new expansion of their business that builds their brand into new areas of consumers’ lives. Though these companies were initially founded with very specific purposes, new innovations have carried the tech giants into hardware, cloud services, digital payment processing, and other essential areas. That being the case, industry experts have been wondering when these institutions will be making their move into banking.

Andrew Steadman, Senior Director Finance Analyst at Gartner, is confident that such a move is not in the cards, in the near future or beyond. While tech companies in other international markets may be edging toward a more direct role in finance, Steadman said in an interview, their American counterparts are likely to focus on building partnerships with existing financial institutions instead.

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“Does Apple actually want to get a banking license?” said Steadman. “I honestly don't know. But would it detract from their core business? Probably.” He went on to detail several of the reasons Apple and its competitors would attempt to stay out of financial institutions’ lane, not least of which being heightened regulatory oversight that would only increase with taking a more active role in finance.