Apple's chewy bite into credit card business in partnership with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard promises a sweet experience for iPhone users. Apple boss Tim Cook claims the Apple Card debuting in the US in summer will be "the most significant change in the credit card experience in 50 years." The Apple Card, the company says, is an innovative, new kind of credit card created designed to help customers lead a healthier financial life. The laser-etched titanium card is only an optional offering, making Apple Card, in essence, a 'cardless card'.
Built into the Apple Wallet app, Apple Card is an extension of Apple Pay and gives users the ability to manage their card on their iPhone. "Apple Card transforms the credit card experience by simplifying the application process, eliminating fees, encouraging customers to pay less interest and providing a new level of privacy and security," according to the Cupertino, California-based company's website. It also claims the Apple Card also offers a clearer and compelling rewards programme incorporating Daily Cash, which gives back a percentage of every purchase.
"Apple Card is designed to help customers lead a healthier financial life, which starts with a better understanding of their spending so they can make smarter choices with their money, transparency to help them understand how much it will cost if they want to pay over the time and ways to help them pay down their balance," according to Jennifer Bailey, Apple Pay vice president.
Designed with Apple's characteristic classy subtlety, Apple Card provides a new level of privacy and security, and features Apple Pay's advanced security technologies, Apple says. However, some cybersecurity experts say there is no game-changing technology involved in the new Apple offering, according to CNN International. With no annual, late, international or over-the-limit fees, Apple Card is expected to be an attraction for users of other credit cards who complain about the high cost of card maintenance.
While Apple Card will get roaring applause from diehard Apple fans, finance experts are sceptical it might attract too many users of other cards in the crowded market. "It's a very full and saturated market," Lisa Ellis, a partner at MoffettNathanson and head of its payments, processors and IT services business told CNN. "The question is, what would make people go and get a new card?"
Apple says Apple Card uses machine learning and Apple Maps to clearly label transactions with merchant names and locations. Purchases are totalled and organised by colour-coded categories to help customers better understand their spending.
About the card's security features, Apple Card says it creates a unique card number on iPhone that is stored safely in the device's Secure Element, a special security chip used by Apple Pay. Every purchase, it claims, is secure because it is authorized with Face ID or Touch ID and a one-time unique dynamic security code. The unique security and privacy architecture created for Apple Card means Apple does not know where a customer shopped, what they bought or how much they paid, the Apple press release says.
Apple has not announced when it will extend the service of Apple Card beyond the US. Until that happens, the card's utility will be extremely limited, experts say.