Apple Bank: An Imaginary Interview with Tim Cook in 2025

"This holy trinity of Hardware, Software and Services shall be the guiding North Star on your journey ahead with Apple!"

Disclaimer: This “interview” never actually happened. This is imaginary and has no foundation in reality.

So Tim, Apple Bank is now one of the largest financial services providers globally. This all happened under your leadership. How did Apple get here?

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You know David, there are some key things we got right. Let me just list these for you:

Sneak-in: We first went into payments with ApplePay. We only started to enter banking on the 29th of June 2017 – on the exact 10thanniversary of Steve releasing the 1st iPhone.

Promise: We promised ‘Plastic-Free and Paper-Free Banking’ within 5 years. You know, there is no need for plastic if your card is in the phone. And no need for paper with official digital ID.

360-Degree Stakeholder Banking: We moved our supplier network to Apple Bank by promising immediate payment of invoices. We moved our employees here and we offered interchange-free card-clearing for merchants coming to us.

1 Billion iPhone Users: We introduced the best personal finance interface – through acquiring Moven – to our 1 billion iPhone users. So far 200 million have migrated into Apple Bank. We extended it with an MSME Smartphone Finance Interface and have developed a Corporate Smartphone Finance Interface with IBM.

Revolutionary IDIP-Scoring: ‘Integrated Device Info Pool Scoring’ is the methodology that seamlessly integrates all info running through your smartphone – purchases, social media networking, phone-bills, geo-location-data, etc. – and calculates an immediate live credit score based on this.

3-Layer Contact Matrix: We introduced ‘Ask-Steve’ Artificial Intelligence Concierge, FaceTime Global Banking Assistance, and have put banking corners in Apple Stores and authorized Apple Resellers.

Smart-Synergies: Clients holding Apple Cards automatically participate in the Apple-Share Cashback Program which – instead of traditional cash-back – puts fractional Apple shares on their account as they use their Apple Card. The Apple-Loyalty Program works with the same logic.

Apple Sensor Program: As you know David, we offer insurance on top of banking. Our integrated InsureTech arm within Apple Bank uses the data from hundreds of Apple Sensors one passes by every day. Through this global network of smart sensors – referred to sometimes as the Internet of Things or IoT – we have a true advantage to offer health, property, life, auto and other types of insurance solutions. For example our much criticized Apple Watch alone collects 20 vectors of health-data per hour per user.

the holy trinity we do have control over is Hardware, Software and Services

Shape the World: We not only provide the best global banking solution, but we actively try to shape things so that we will have better banking for the next generation. I am sure readers know about our recent quest for uniform global digital identity standards, and our initiative for the creation of a global banking license and a global bank-regulatory body. These are still in a nascent stage, so we have to employ 1 000 additional lawyers on top of our regular legal team within and outside the company to get the painful and annoying global regulatory-patchwork right.

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WOW, that is quite a list Tim! Do you consider Apple Bank a success?

Our total assets just surpassed USD 2 trillion. This is about one percent of the total assets of the entire global banking system. This is just the beginning for us. You know David, as we say at Apple, ‘simple is the hardest’, and banking had so much friction and complexity associated with it that even I myself was unsure about how to make it simple. But we did.

How did it all start?

In an early morning in September 2011 Steve called me and told me to be over at his place ASAP. When I arrived, he told me to listen carefully: “Tim, you are my handpicked successor. So you have to know the secret. Apple is the symbol of knowledge, immortality, temptation and seduction ever since the times in the Garden of Eden. And we can be Apple – the modern day symbol of consumer-seduction – because we are the only company that has control over the holy trinity. And what is the holy trinity?” I naively answered: “The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.” Steve angrily replied: “No Tim. You are absolutely wrong. We obviously don’t have control over that Holy Trinity, but the holy trinity we do have control over is Hardware, Software and Services. This holy trinity of the integrity of Hardware, Software and Services shall be the guiding North-Star on your journey ahead with Apple! And when free, uninvested cash on our balance sheet reaches USD 200 billion, make the move!” I asked back: “Steve, which move?” He very tiredly replied: “Look Tim, you have to get used to the times when I am not here to answer questions. So all I can say is that ‘the move’ is something that is very capital-intensive.”

For years I have been waking up and falling asleep trying to figure out what Steve really meant. But one morning in May 2014 I received a phone call from my bank. “Mr Cook, your card has expired, you can pick your new card up in our Cupertino branch today.” I went: “What? Today I am signing a deal to buy a headphone company in Los Angeles for USD 3 billion, I mean I can’t go to the branch today.” And in this very moment something miraculous happened and all that Steve was talking about back in 2011 became so very trivially clear. The solution is simple: BANK.

And what did you do?

I have written an email to all members of our senior management with the title: “The Road to Apple Bank”.

Tim, can you remember the content of this email?

Yes, I can:
“My Beloved Apple Family,
we have already revolutionized telecom. Next, we will revolutionize banking.
The road to Apple Bank leads through ApplePay. ApplePay is the integration of payment cards into the iPhone. Please get ready to tie your bonuses to rolling ApplePay out in the US by October this year; in the UK by September 2015 and in China by February 2016!
Please remember what Steve taught us: ‘Good isn’t good enough, it has to be insanely great!’

And what happened next?

We implemented the key steps that I listed for you when we began the interview.

And Tim, now with over 200 million clients and total assets north from USD 2 trillion what is your message for current and potential future Apple Bank users?

Please share with us what you want, what you seek, please come up with ideas, let us know of your own vision! As far as I know, Finance Magnates – where this interview will be published – leaves space for comments. So share your own vision of Apple Bank!

Thank you Tim for this wonderful interview!

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