January 10, 2020 / 4:54 PM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-Goldman Sachs finally launches app for online bank Marcus

(Adds background on Goldman Sachs)

By Elizabeth Dilts Marshall

NEW YORK, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc launched a long-awaited app this week for customers of its online bank Marcus.

The lack of a mobile app had frustrated smartphone users who, until now, could only view account information, make loan payments or balance transfers on the bank's website.

"Exactly what I was waiting for," wrote one Marcus customer on the Apple App store, where the mobile app was released on Monday.

The bank launched Marcus in 2016 to diversify its revenue and funding sources by offering savings accounts and personal loans to retail customers. Until then, Goldman Sachs had operated primarily as an investment bank and trading house since its founding in 1869, using mostly money from the wholesale market.

Goldman Sachs spokeswoman Kristen Greco said on Friday that one of the most common customer requests has been for the bank to launch an app, and software engineers and developers "spent the better part of 2019" creating one.

Software engineers and developers who worked on Clarity Money, a personal finance start-up Goldman bought in 2018, were tasked with developing the Marcus app.

"People expect a digital bank to have an app," Greco said. "We wanted to make sure we did it right."

Marcus, with $55 billion in U.S. and UK customer deposits and $5 billion in loans, has allowed the bank to build a pool of deposits to run day-to-day much more cheaply.

The bank reported on Monday that its consumer bank, which includes Marcus and its fledgling credit card business, contributes less than 3% of its overall revenues.

Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts Marshall; Editing by Richard Chang

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