Apple has been advertising their “Show Time” event for a couple of weeks now via social media, building as much hype as possible for last night’s series of announcements, and among them is something long-anticipated which, up until now, had not seen the light of day: Apple Card.
Though Apple users have been able to pay via Apple Pay for some time, linking their existing credit cards to their phones and then using EFTPOS terminals via the inbuilt NFC chip, this is an entirely new credit card offering from the Californian tech giant, and is set to make waves in the finance industry, both in terms of how credit card providers offer their services, and how they provide them in a practical sense for their clients.
Like most of Apple’s products, privacy is one of their major selling points. VP of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey is quoted as saying: “Apple doesn’t know what you bought, where you bought it, and how much you paid for it.”
Apparently all of the spending tracking, and other sensitive information is stored on the Apple device, and not a server. Via the Apple Wallet app, users will be able to sign up and use their new Apple Card within minutes of approval. Once active, they can track purchases and balance details within the app.
A physical card will also be provided, in titanium no less, but without a credit card number, CVV, expiry date or even signature. And instead of the usual points-based reward program favoured by most other companies, Apple Card is keeping it simple in the form of ‘Daily Cash’; cash back rewards applied straight to your account, to spend how you like. Apple is offering two per cent cash back on purchases made with an Apple Card, and purchases from Apple will get three per cent cash back (purchases made with the physical card, however, will get just one per cent cash back).
Apple has also boasted no late fees, no annual fees, no international fees, and no over-limit fees, though late payment fees are still set to be a thing. Partnering with Goldman Sachs for this new endeavour, Apple has also engaged MasterCard to handle the payment processing side of things. APR rates range from 13.24 per cent to 24.24 per cent, based on credit.
Apple states that “Goldman Sachs will never sell your data to third parties for marketing and advertising,” which sounds completely fine as we all know how trustworthy big banks usually are.