What is FinanceKit in iOS 17.4?

Though iOS 17.4 could leave European users vulnerable to new threat vectors and third-party app stores, it also introduced an interesting new API Apple is calling FinanceKit. What does it do, and is it an opportunity for your business?

What is FinanceKit?

FinanceKit is a new API for developers that lets them access a person’s transaction and balance details from Apple Card, Savings and Apple Cash. It is currently only available in the US.

What does FinanceKit do?

The idea is that users of financial management apps can monitor their Apple financial accounts in real-time. That’s useful, as it means they don’t need to manually put that data into their apps and should have good oversight into their current financial position.

Who supports FinanceKit?

Three financial management apps have already introduced support for the new feature. They are YNAB, Monarch, and Copilot.

Who is FinanceKit for?

FinanceKit at present seems built solely for the relatively small US audience of 12 million Apple Card users. Those users can now monitor all their financial activity, including all their Apple-related financial activity, in one place.

What isn’t clear is the extent to which the API integrates Open Banking data. That’s not a big thing in the US, but many banks in Europe make customer financial data available using Open Banking. (Customers have to agree to the sharing.)

In use, this is what enables Apple in the UK to show a person’s financial transactions in Wallet. It is also thought to be a stepping stone toward the introduction of Apple Card services outside the US, though ongoing tensions with Goldman Sachs seem to have derailed any plans for rapid market expansion that may once have existed.

Is it good for your business?

It isn’t clear whether there’s a compelling enterprise case for the API. However, it might  become invaluable to businesses who use Apple Card services to provide temporary virtual cards to staff, as FinanceKit should make it possible to assemble transaction data in one view for oversight and financial control.

How to connect to the service

  • If you use a financial management app from YNAB, Copilot, or Monarc,h the process to connect the app to your Apple financial services is relatively simple:
  • Update your device to iOS 17.4.
  • Update the app.
  • Look for the accounts tab in your app, then tap Add Accounts and follow the prompt to Add Apple Wallet Connection.
  • You can then decide which accounts to connect, what data you want made available to your management app, and that’s it.

In the future, all your most recent Apple Card, Cash, and Savings transactions will automatically appear in the app.

What else is new in iOS 17.4?

The move to open up its platforms for third-party app stores in Europe is by far the most prominent component of iOS 17.4. As part of this, Apple has opened its iPhone to let third-party developers use the iPhone’s built-in NFC feature to offer contactless payments. This will let card providers force customers to use their apps to pay for things, rather than the far more elegant Apple Wallet app.

Other additions include improved Stolen Device Protection and automated podcast transcripts. The latter should be particularly useful if you like to take notes while listening to some of these. If you transact business internationally, Siri will now read messages for you in any language it supports, which helps with translation.

Apple’s financial journey

Since the iPhone first appeared, Apple has been planning for the device to replace your wallet. The introduction of Apple Pay was just one of many services to appear from the company. That service is now likely the world’s most widely used mobile wallet.

Since that introduction, the company has gotten into several other financially-associated services, including Apple Card, Savings with Apple, and Apple Cash. The company also now offers the popular Apple Pay Later service, as well as providing merchant services such as Tap to Pay.

Eventually, the company is expected to introduce its own self-build credit approval service following its 2022 purchase of UK firm Credit Kudos.

Please follow me on Mastodon, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2024 IDG Communications, Inc.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.