LAS VEGAS — Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is a fan of the company’s push into the payments business, but he doesn’t think the computing giant should become a bank.
During an interview at the Money 20/20 conference, Wozniak raved about the convenience of Apple Pay, which he uses to make purchases on his Apple Watch.
But then he was asked whether he’d like Apple to become a bank. “I don’t know if I would like that,” Wozniak replied.
After being pressed for a reason, he said: “I like more diversity.”
As tech giants such as Apple and Amazon have pushed further into businesses traditionally dominated by banks, questions about their long-term plans have intensified.
Wozniak, who started Apple with Steve Jobs in the 1970s, acknowledged that the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm could seek to become a bank. With a market capitalization of more than $800 billion, Apple is the world’s most valuable company.
But Wozniak predicted that the iPhone maker will instead continue to work alongside more heavily regulated banks. “I think they’ll work together,” he said.
At the same conference, an Apple executive discussed the firm’s latest plans for Apple Pay, the mobile wallet that launched in 2014.
Later this fall, iPhone users will be able to send cash via text message to friends and relatives who also use the company’s phones, said Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay.
Consumers will also be able to request money via text message. The funds will go into a mobile wallet that can used anywhere Apple Pay is accepted.
The person-to-person payment service will be known as Apple Pay Cash.