Apple’s ‘Breakout’ project to integrate financial services internally could expand payment functionality beyond the US

Apple is developing its own payment processing technology and infrastructure for future financial products as part of a multi-year plan, according to a new report from Bloomberg. It could also help the company expand its payment functionality beyond the United States.

As Mark Gurman reported, this ambitious effort would “reduce Apple’s reliance on outside partners.”

A multi-year plan would bring a wide range of financial tasks in-house, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are not public. This includes payment processing, risk assessment for loans, fraud analysis, credit checks and additional customer service functions such as dispute management.

The effort is focused on future products, rather than Apple’s current line of services. Still, the news sent shares of CoreCard Corp plummeting. and Green Dot Corp. — two of Apple’s existing partners — by more than 8% each on Wednesday. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., another key partner, lost as much as 1.2%.

The effort would join Apple’s existing Card and its recently launched peer-to-peer payment for businesses, though Gurman says it’s aimed at “future products, rather than Apple’s current line of services.”

An early report from Bloomberg also shows that Apple is working on a “buy now, pay later” feature for Apple Pay transactions.

The service is currently planned to work as follows: when a user makes a purchase via Apple Pay on their Apple device, they will have the option to pay for it either over four interest-free payments made every two weeks, or over several months with interest , said one of the people. The plan with four payments is called “Apple Pay in 4” internally, while longer-term payment plans are dubbed “Apple Pay Monthly Installments.”

Additionally, Gurman reports that Apple will maintain its partnership with Goldman Sachs while it discusses using in-house technology for the four installment plan.

For international users, these internal financial services “could help Apple expand future services to other countries.”

Apple Pay is currently available in over 70 countries, but services such as peer-to-peer payments, Apple Card, and Apple Cash are still restricted to the United States. “Partners like CoreCard and Green Dot are focused on the US, limiting Apple’s ability to grow,” Gurman writes.

As of now, it’s unclear when Apple might start taking advantage of its in-house financial services.

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Elaine R. Knight