Alongside the recent announcement of a streaming service to rival Netflix, Apple revealed it was pushing deeper into the world of financial services.
At an event in California on Monday, the tech giant unveiled a brand new ‘Apple Card’ in partnership with Goldman Sachs. It’s built directly into the Apple Wallet app and works with Apple Pay.
But because there are places were mobile payments may still aren’t accepted, Apple also unveiled a physical credit card to pick up the slack.
The laser-etched titanium card has no account numbers, no expiry date and no CVV code on the back. At the moment it’s limited to the US but is expected to land in the UK in due time.
‘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 time and ways to help them pay down their balance,’ said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay.
Apple’s package is decent without being revolutionary. The cashback amounts are on a level with other providers, but what makes this stand out is that Apple doesn’t charge fees on things like annual membership, late payments or foreign transactions.
The card charges a variable interest rate of between 13.24% and 24.24% which is also pretty unremarkable in the wide world of credit card options.
What might appeal to potential customers is the commitment to privacy. Apple explained that a unique card number is created on an iPhone for the Apple Card and stored safely in the device’s Secure Element, a special security chip used by Apple Pay.
‘Every purchase is secure because it is authorized with Face ID or Touch ID and a one-time unique dynamic security code,’ explained Apple.
‘The unique security and privacy architecture created for Apple Card means Apple doesn’t know where a customer shopped, what they bought or how much they paid.’
As ever though, this is firmly baked within the Apple ecosystem. Android users will go nowhere near Apple Card and the benefits don’t appear to be big enough to tempt them into jumping ship. Alternatives like Google Pay and Samsung Pay exist for Android users and the likes of Monzo will work equally well on both operating systems.
Will UK users even get it? Apple hasn’t specifically said that the card is coming to Blighty – it hasn’t even given a definitive US release date beyond ‘summer’.
Apple Pay originally came to the UK in July 2015 after launching in the US in October the previous year. So there’s a good bet that we’ll see Apple Card over here either by the end of this year or early next.
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