Apple’s latest venture is one that many might not expect: a credit card.
The technology giant recently released the Apple Card – a sleek laser-etched titanium card – in partnership with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard.
Power of Apple
As Apple puts it, the card represents everything they stand for: simplicity, transparency, and privacy. “It’s the only credit card designed to take advantage of the power of iPhone,” Apple says.
Living in the Wallet app and building on Apple Pay, the Apple Card touts an interface that helps users to easily understand their daily, weekly, and monthly spending by category.
Users can also see their interest, how much they owe, and how long it will take to pay back what they owe. In fact, Apple claims this card encourages users to pay less interest.
Using machine learning and its Maps app, the Apple Card can show you where purchases were made. This is especially helpful when vendor names are cryptic and have no apparent connection to the purchase made.
A cash reward program called Daily Cash is meant to incentivize card users. “You should get [rewards] today, not a month from today. That’s why Apple Card gives you Daily Cash with every purchase,” Apple advertises.
Instead of a point system, Apple says users will get instant cash rewards on their phone that is available for use the day-of.
However, there is an incentive to pay directly from Apple Pay rather than using the physical card.
Apple offers a 1% cashback on every dollar spent using the titanium Apple Card, 2% on the digital Apple Card, and 3% when you use the Apple Card via Apple Pay.
Clearly, they want us to be using Apple products as much as possible.
Lisa Eadicicco, the Senior Technology Correspondent at Business Insider, says that “This really does seem like a big play to get you to use your iPhone a lot more. This card is for people who have an iPhone and don’t plan on switching anytime soon.”
Still, there are major advantages to the Apple Card.
Not only are there no late, annual, or international fees, but there is a heightened level of security.
Apple Card technology creates a unique card number and stores that in the security chip on your iPhone. The Apple Card also generates a unique security code for every purchase and requires that you authenticate each purchase “biometrically” through Face or Touch Id.
“The Apple Card sets a new level for privacy and security,” according to Apple.
There is also no personal or identifying information on the physical card and Goldman Sachs will not be sharing personal information with third-party vendors.
Most importantly, Apple’s servers don’t store your data; your device stores your tracking data.
We can get on board with these security measures!
What’s the catch, right?
Only iPhone users can get the Apple Card, of course. All payments have to be made from the iPhone, and you cannot use a separate browser or app.
Not all vendors accept Apple Pay, meaning that the 3% cashback bonus will not be available in many cases.
It’s also not clear who will be eligible for the Apple Card – beyond being a “well-qualified customer,” which is rather vague.
Regardless, we’re thrilled to see a credit card with great concern for security and privacy. Hopefully, Apple will set the standard for security that other financial institutions can follow.