It is part of a broader effort to wire everyday gadgets to the web to encourage consumer purchases and gather data. This technology has been slow to take hold—not everyone needs a refrigerator that says when the milk is running low—but it taps into a broader trend of consumer spending becoming more seamless and digital. The coronavirus pandemic could add to the appeal by increasing demand for e-commerce and contactless pickup.
A deal with GM would advance Goldman’s ambitions on Main Street. Since launching its consumer arm, Marcus, four years ago, the firm has amassed $7 billion in loans and is aiming for $20 billion by 2025. Holders of the Apple Card had $2.3 billion in outstanding balances as of June 30. Without a well-known consumer brand or physical branches to bring in customers, Goldman is turning to partnerships, hoping to turn iPhone users, GM drivers, Amazon shoppers and AARP members into Marcus customers.