Would You Bank with Apple?

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Apple fans can be a little crazy in their devotion to anything with an “i” tacked onto the front of it, but a new survey shows just how far that cult-like following stretches: Nearly half of people who use Apple devices would be willing to trust the computer giant with their savings. In a survey of more than 5,000 consumers in the U.S. and U.K. conducted by marketing consulting company KAE and research and survey company Toluna, 10% of respondents said they would bank with Apple. But when that field of consumers was narrowed to include people who already own Apple products, that number shot up to 43%.

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These respondents are a tech-savvy bunch: more than 80% say they already bank online, and 62% use mobile banking. Two-thirds said they would patronize a hypothetical “iBank” because they trust the brand, and more than half said they think an iBank would be user-friendly with reliable service.

Of course, Apple hasn’t given any indication it plans to enter financial services — and it’s probably not likely to in the near future — but the idea isn’t as strange as it sounds at first. After all, even Steve Jobs probably couldn’t have predicted that his computer company would become a huge player in digital music. And financial services isn’t all that much of a stretch for a tech company: Google, which started out as a mere search engine, has been trying for some time now to gain traction for a mobile wallet platform on its Android devices.

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Other banks would need to watch their backs if Apple moves in on their turf. “This research tells us Apple customers perceive a fit where at first glance we would assume the brand could not travel,” KAE chief commercial officer Lee Powney said in a statement. If Apple ever did decide to reinvent itself once more and become a financial services provider, traditional banks would find themselves facing a formidable competitor.