Goldman Sachs quietly releases Marcus app three years after launch
Goldman Sachs has quietly launched a mobile banking app for customers of its online bank Marcus, which offers savings services and personal loans.
The much anticipated app launch arrives three years after Marcus was first created in 2016, when the bank aimed to diversify its revenue and funding sources by tapping up retail customers. Marcus now has four million users.
Despite the lack of hype around the launch, it’s understood that the app has been designed with the eventual expectation that it will become Goldman Sachs’ main mobile face for the large majority of its digital banking services.
“Over time, our ambition is to extend the capabilities of the Marcus app and have that be the centrepiece of our consumer-facing experience,” Goldman Sachs partner and Marcus’ head of product Adam Dell tells CNBC.
“As I think about the competitive landscape of the incumbent consumer banks, I think there’s enormous opportunity for us to differentiate ourselves with great digital products,” Dell adds.
Basic capabilities of the app include checking balances, scheduling transfers, making loan payments, in-app alerts, ‘AutoPay’ for loan management and recurring deposits for growing savings. Users can access the app through a fingerprint login or face ID login.
Ratings on the App Store – of which there are 225 at the time of writing – are generally positive and largely ranked with five stars at an average of 4.9. The app is not yet available on Google Play, though the banks promises it will arrive sometime in Spring 2020.
“As a Marcus customer for over nine months, I thought about what I would have wanted in a mobile app and this blew my expectations out of the water. […] This sets a whole new standard for mobile banking apps,” one customer said in a review.
However, reviews did also bring up some issues with the app. Several customers mentioned issues with face ID, namely that if customers sign out they have to manually enter their email and password to sign in again even if face ID is enabled in settings.
Dell says the bank spent most of last year planning, building and testing the app with hundreds of employees, with the help of the creators from Clarity Money – the artificial intelligence (AI)-powered budget manager app which Goldman Sachs acquired in 2018 with the intention for it to one day become its digital shop front.
Launch of the app comes at an important time for the investment bank. Ahead of its first investor day later this month and an earnings report this week, the app will become part of the discussion with shareholders to see how the app will maximise revenue streams from Marcus.
Likely to be a topic of discussion will be the potential extensions of Marcus, such as the development of wealth management offerings, as well as mortgage and insurance services and even going beyond the Apple Card it rolled out last year to branch out into new cards.
Currently the consumer bank, which includes Marcus and its off-shoot credit card business, contributes less than 3% to Goldman Sachs’ overall revenues according to a report by the bank this week.