Apple CEO, Tim Cook, just announced their new Apple Card product at a special event at their Cupertino headquarters. The anticipation for details regarding their new credit card with Goldman Sachs has been highly anticipated and closely watched. With Goldman Sachs’ CEO watching, the presentation and details did not disappoint.
Here is what we learned about Apple Card today and what you need to know about the most innovative credit card product on the market.
Apple’s new credit card will have Goldman Sachs as their banking partner, and will be known as the Apple Card. The Apple Card is designed for the iPhone and it integrates directly with the hardware and software on the phone for seamless functionality. In fact, they’ve revolutionized some processes which we all take for granted. You sign up for the card directly on your phone and if approved, you’ll be able to start using it within minutes. Say goodbye to the customary two-week waiting period. (If you aren’t sure if you need a credit card, here’s my take.)
The Apple Card will live in your Apple Wallet and will be accepted wherever Apple Pay is accepted. This means that it will work with all of your existing digital payments for things such as Lyft, Apple subscriptions, and other online purchases. However, Apple Card customers will also receive a titanium laser etched card to be used at physical merchants. Apple selected Mastercard as their payment network which means the titanium version of the card will be accepted virtually everywhere.
Arguably, the Apple Card’s best features are related to their fees, or lack thereof. The Apple Card will have no late fees, no annual fees, no international fees, or over-limit fees. Said simply, Apple is not entering the credit card business to make money off of the fees. They will also eliminate penalty interest rates and strive to offer the lowest interest rates in the industry, although they left out specific details about the interest rates themselves. Consumers who feared that Apple would charge exorbitant fees on their new product will be delighted. The company will also allow consumers to schedule more frequent payments in order to avoid interest rate payments.
When it comes to rewards, Apple has aimed to make their rewards program easy to understand and navigate. It revolves around the Apple Cash Card, into which your cash back will automatically be added. The Apple Card earns 2% cash back on all ApplePay transactions, 1% cash back on all transactions if you use the physical Apple Card, and 3% cash back on all purchases made at Apple. Daily Cash is the name of the Apple Card rewards program and cash back will get paid directly to your Apple Cash card on a daily basis. You can spend it wherever you use Apple Pay, send money to friends via iMessage, or pay down your Apple Card balance.
If you need customer service, they’ve also simplified the process so you no longer have to call your bank for help. Apple Card customer service will be integrated with the iPhone so you can get customer service directly on the phone via iMessage.
After you’ve made purchases, Apple Card also makes it easier than ever to see how and where you spent your money. The Wallet App automatically categorizes your spend in real time so you can see exactly how much you are spending over time. To further differentiate themselves from competitors like Chase and Bank of America, Apple Card will use technology to show merchant and transaction data on invoices that is easy to understand, unlike the addresses and phone numbers that often get listed on traditional credit card statements.
Security is another strong selling point when it comes to Apple Card, as every purchase is verified with FaceID or TouchID. Apple also claims that they won’t know what you bought, where you bought it or how much you bought it. All categorization shown in the Wallet App takes place locally on your phone and not on Apple’s servers. The firm also stated that Goldman Sachs will never sell your card data or personal information to third parties, which is a practice that consumers have grown weary of. Additionally, the physical Apple Card will not contain a credit card number, CVV code, expiration date or signature, although those details will live in the Wallet App.
If the card has any weaknesses, it has to be the rewards. Cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve offer travel perks like access to lounges, the Global Entry Trusted Traveler program and an annual travel credit. Other cards on the market offer cash back on all purchases that rival or surpass that of the Apple Card. But again, Apple is betting that the seamless customer experience will be more than offset any shortcomings in their rewards program.
It’s clear that Apple has its eyes set on dominating the digital payments space. The company announced today that it is on pace to surpass 10 billion payment transactions this year and that 70% of merchants in the U.S. accept ApplePay.
The early indication is that there is a lot of excitement for the card but we will have to wait to see the results until the card is released. Apple has stated that Apple Card will be available Summer 2019.