iOS 17.1 Wallet Connected Cards…Apple Card for the rest of us?

The iOS 17.1 beta has an interesting new Wallet feature for UK payments cards: Open Banking support. Open banking “enables third-party payment services and financial service providers to access consumer banking information such as transactions and payment history“. Things like balances, accounting information, cashflow, transactions and so on.

9 to 5 Mac broke the story, but MacRumors did a better followup detailing the service backend. It’s not just a new Open Banking API in iOS 17.1, there is Apple Payment Services Ltd., a subsidiary provisioning service provider behind it that, probably, takes care of the backend grunt work. There is a US counterpart, Apple Processing LLC, who will provide the Connected Card service at some point.

I’ve often thought about all the UI bells and whistles of Apple Card that are, so far, proprietary and vainly hoped that some of the Apple Card UI features would be made available to 3rd party developers, i.e. dynamic Wallet cards. Open Banking is not that, but it is a long overdue baby step in the right direction. And if Connected Cards are a baby step, why does Apple have subsidiaries in place that are open banking data conduits to a bank’s own Connected Card in Wallet? Banks could do this on their own right? Probably, but with the least amount of effort.

I think it comes down to this, Apple wants to offer banks a service that delivers a FinTech savvy, easy to use UI experience in their Wallet card. Connected Cards will evolve and become more like Apple Card over time. Good for banks, good for customer, good for Apple. How much Apple can do with Open Banking API has yet to be seen, but I think this is just a beginning.