Bolder Thinking Blog

First-hand look at the new Marcus by Goldman Sachs mobile app

January 22nd, 2020 | Anuj Shahani

Marcus by Goldman Sachs finally released their app last week. Wanting to get it “just right,” the app development process involved qualitative and quantitative research with thousands of existing customers and prospects.

The acquisition of Clarity Money had suggested that Marcus would create a PFM (personal financial management) tool, but given the delays in creating their basic app, industry insiders question if there are other plans with Clarity Money in the works. Marcus has stated that they want to create an app that customers use all the time, not just periodically. While this is every financial institution’s dream, it is an extremely unlikely outcome. The super apps coming out of China (e.g., WeChat, TaoBao) have shown that this is possible; however, every major platform from Facebook to Uber has the same aspiration  – that their app is the dominant property in which digital natives reside. At this stage, given the extremely basic features offered by the Marcus app, I’m not even sure if I can say that this is a noble aspiration.

Below is a quick look at the app: 

1. Outside the log-in screen:

2. Initial set-up is very quick and feels secure.

 

3. Logged-in screen:

4. Useful financial tips for users:

What’s next?

It’ll be interesting to see how Clarity Money and the Marcus app merge, if ever. Also, it’s a bold vision to try and have an app that consumers utilize frequently. Marcus’ moves are tracked closely by the industry as it’s demonstrated previously that if Marcus puts its deep pockets to work, it can certainly produce game changing results.

All in all, we waited three years for a very basic app from a company that has the potential to produce a game-changer. Consumers were expecting a lot more. While the app offers a clean interface, it’s lacking in innovation and, frankly, doesn’t really give users a reason to download. I’m all for taking time to get it right, but if the current iteration took three years to come to market, I’m not holding my breath for Marcus to become my PFM.

What do you think?

Have any thoughts about the app or its future? Please reach me at ashahani@mintel.com and we can discuss!

Anuj Shahani

Anuj Shahani

Anuj Shahani is Vice President at Comperemedia, providing thought leadership to Financial Services clients.