Goldman Sachs Steps Up its Mobile Presence

July 11, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Goldman Sachs has been rapidly working on improving its accessibility and ease of use to its current customer base, and focusing on the retail market particularly. That’s good news for the average customer, and it’s about to get even better when Goldman Sachs releases its new iOS app, set to happen soon.

With a slate of retail services on hand, Goldman Sachs’ new app will bring many of these together in one place and improve access to these tools. Reports suggest that Goldman Sachs is currently looking for mobile developers to put together a “…best of breed platform that is both elegant and powerful,” and serves as a front for an “…all digital retail bank.”

Word is that that could even include its Marcus loan platform—which offers loans up to $30,000 for high-credit-rating customers—as well as savings accounts and an automated advisory tool. Marcus itself is projected to offer $2 billion in loans just this year.

Goldman Sachs isn’t a stranger to mobile, as it’s had mobile operations for high-net-worth customers for some time now. This move is one that democratizes the mobile front and makes it more immediately accessible to the retail banking customer.

Though it’s the “all digital retail bank” line that catches my eye. Is Goldman Sachs preparing to sack a whole load of tellers, loan officers, and other middle-class jobs at its branches? The move away from a physical bank branch isn’t new, but it’s one that comes with its share of risks.

There’s a certain percentage of the population—millennials, mainly—who likes the thought of online-only (or in this case mobile-only) operations. The potential cost savings are no doubt alluring, but given that Generation Z to follow the millennials isn’t quite so keen on digital-only, Goldman Sachs might do better to make this a division rather than a paradigm shift.

Still, Goldman Sachs is clearly advancing the field of mobile operations. As long as it doesn’t turn around and take other options away in response, we could be looking at a new move forward, one that gives people more choice and allows for different styles of operation. I know it’d be great to have a bank branch that never closes in my pocket, but that doesn’t mean I want the physical branch gone.