Apple Card Credit Risk Manager leaves to start credit card X1

Abhi Pabba, Apple Card’s director of credit risk, has left the company.

Pabba, who worked out of Apple’s office in Austin, Texas, will join California-based credit card company X1 starting next week as CEO of Risk, according to X1 CEO Deepak Rao.

Pabba specializes in credit and risk assessment. Prior to Apple, he worked at Capital One, where he focused on credit card authorizations.

In the past few years, there have been a series of exits from Goldman Sachs’ consumer business, which deals with the lending and issuance of parts of the Apple Card.

But the defections on Apple’s part were less visible. With the Apple Card, the tech giant is not aiming to generate revenue from aggressive lending decisions, but rather to make the iPhone more important to its customers. The card is primarily accessed and managed through the iPhone.

CNBC reported this week that Goldman Sachs is discussing internally whether the company’s card loans, which are primarily tied to the Apple Card, are causing an unacceptably high loss. A large percentage of loans are granted to clients with low FICO scores. Apple Card is also having issues with automated customer service disputes due to the card’s rapid growth.

Apple is also expanding on offering credit to its customers with a feature called Apple Pay Later, which splits purchases into four weekly payments. Apple addresses some of its credit decisions to buy it now, and pay later.

Abhi Pabba, Risk Manager at X1


Pabba told CNBC that his jobs at Apple and Capital One have included monitoring metrics from credit card holders in aggregate, including how much users spend, the percentage of them that end up as delinquent and average certified credit scores.

“I would say these three [metrics] Very high standard, but you know, Capital One prides itself on being very meticulous with these things, and of course, Apple had similar standards as well,” Pabba said.

Pabba is expected to build X1’s underwriting policies, which will use alternative data, such as bank account access or information from Plaid as well as traditional FICO credit scores to set credit limits and rates for customers.

X1 is backed by Silicon Valley venture capitalists such as PayPal founders Max Levchin and David Sachs, among others. Its flagship product is a credit card with deep integration with the app, allowing users to create new credit card numbers for individual transactions and easily monitor spending.

X1 also plans to offer higher credit limits to some customers, which could help keep overall credit usage low.

X1 currently has a waiting list for its credit card, which it says thousands are currently using. It also appointed a new chief financial officer to prepare the company to increase the number of subscribers to accelerate growth.

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