During yesterday’s special event Apple presented a lot of new services and news. Many people thought and still think it was a keynote – the worst in years – without hardware . The reality is very different, Apple has presented not one or two, but up to four new lines that will mark the future of the company. And yes, it has also introduced hardware , possibly the most beautiful in design in years, its new credit card .
Apple Pay Vice President Jennifer Bailey took the stage yesterday to announce a new Apple service, Apple Card. Another credit card? Another fintech ? Yes and no. Apple enters a complex and currently quite saturated market with all the young banks looking to stand up to the traditional ones. But as always, Apple does it its own way, and history has shown us that however late they may be, in the end they end up reigning. If Apple Card delivers what it promises, it can be a truly disruptive service.
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A virtual and now also intelligent portfolio
The presentation of Apple Card did not start by showing the physical credit card, but the virtual card and consequently its virtual wallet. Apple has renewed the app Wallet for iOS to adapt it to current needs and the functions offered by Apple Card. There are three aspects of the new Wallet app that I would like to highlight:
- Intelligent analysis: The Wallet app will use automatic learning functions in combination with location functions to better understand what each transaction is. No more weird store names, now everything will be categorized correctly and with simple names for each store thanks to the app’s more “human” understanding of where the payment was made. Each transaction will have complete details with location on Apple Maps, date, time, and more.
- Saving features: The Wallet application also includes new design features to suit the Apple card. For example, it has a ring system similar to the one in the Apple Watch activity. In this case they are not for moving, but to help us save. The app also has suggestions to help us avoid interest accrual.
- Automated management: Automatic payments can be set up on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis for example.
What is ‘Daily Cash’ and how much money does Apple give back
An interesting aspect of the Apple Card is its reward system. They have indicated that card customers will receive “daily cash” when they shop with Apple Card. That is, for every purchase you make with the card you get a percentage back at the end of the day in the form of money, they insisted it is real money and not points or weird stuff. The refunds you get depend on the type of purchase you make:
- 3% Return: For all purchases made at Apple. Product purchases, subscriptions, app purchases…
- 2% Return: For any purchase where Apple Pay is used as a method of payment. No limits and no matter the type of purchase.
- 1% refund: For all other purchases not made with Apple Pay.
Virtually impossible frauds
This detail is interesting, although in the current bank accounts more or less is being implemented too, not as directly and effectively as Apple Card. Or at least as Apple Card says it will. When a potentially fraudulent charge is detected a notification will be sent to the user immediately. The user decides whether to accept the transaction as normal or mark it as a problem.
Apple Card also integrates with Apple Business Chat , Apple’s service for businesses to connect with customers through the Messaging app. If there is a problem then users can contact the store directly for support and customer service.
Privacy, privacy, privacy
Throughout yesterday’s keynote, and with each of the services presented, Apple emphasized one feature: privacy. There is nothing that attracts me more to Apple Card than knowing (or at least trusting) that neither Apple nor anyone else will use my purchase usage data for advertising and analysis . Apple Card is a collaboration between Apple, Goldman Sachs and MasterCard. According to them, they chose these two partners specifically because they agreed to the condition of not tracking the user. Apple therefore assures that neither they nor Goldman Sachs nor MasterCard will sell Apple Card users’ data to third parties for marketing or advertising purposes.
When the Apple Card is first activated, a unique identification number is stored on the device (the iPhone). Whenever a transaction takes place, this number is used along with a unique number that is automatically generated. And of course, all transactions require user authentication via Face ID or Touch ID .
What commissions does Apple Card have
And what does Apple charge you for the credit card? Nothing, zero fees per year. No minimum usage requirements or fine print. Although there are no annual fees or late fees, as a credit card you do have to pay interest . Apple says that the variable annual percentage returns will range from 13.24 percent to 24.24 percent. If you don’t make a payment, you won’t pay a late fee, but interest will accrue at a faster rate.
You will love it for its usefulness, you will love it for its design
All of the above applies to the virtual card and the Apple Wallet, but the real attraction is the physical credit card. Apple has launched its own card and, of course, the only thing it has in common with the traditional ones is its size . Apple has created a completely different credit card that is recognizable at first glance. Some details:
- Made of titanium.
- Laser engraved.
- No CVV.
- No card number.
The user name, the Apple logo and a chip is the only thing we’re going to find. The most minimalist card possible. Apple has made an effort to create a completely different app and format where virtual and device payments are the main focus. However, when I see the physical card and the ones I’ve run away from in the last few years, I just want to have it now. Does it fit? It seems, although Apple has not confirmed anything, that it does not have contactless according to a manager of MasterCard. Perhaps because it is made of titanium? We will know in a few months.
When and where will the Apple Card be available
Here comes the most negative point of all, to the availability of Apple Card. What we are clear about at the moment is that will only be available in the United States . There are not even approximate dates of when it will expand to other countries (and possibly in the long term). Here we have to understand that it is not only Apple’s capacity, but also Goldman Sachs’, which is ultimately the credit provider.
U.S. users can register on the official website to be notified when new information becomes available. It is expected to arrive this summer in the United States.
- A virtual and now also intelligent portfolio
- What is ‘Daily Cash’ and how much money does Apple give back
- Virtually impossible frauds
- Privacy, privacy, privacy
- What commissions does Apple Card have
- You will love it for its usefulness, you will love it for its design
- When and where will the Apple Card be available