Apple unveils its own credit card

Lauren Kate Rawlins
By Lauren Kate Rawlins, ITWeb digital and innovation contributor.
Johannesburg, 25 Mar 2019
Apple has unveiled a credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs and MasterCard.
Apple has unveiled a credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs and MasterCard.

Apple will offer financial services to its customers with its newly announced credit card, called Apple Card.

The company says the offering was created to help its customers lead a healthier financial life. This announcement was made at the Apple Special Event today in Cupertino, California.

Apple says the Apple Card will be simple to sign-up to, have zero fees, high levels of security, and a rewards programme that gives users cash back.

The credit card will mostly be used virtually, as it will be built into the Apple Wallet app on the iPhone and be used in the same way Apple Pay is used (a service that is not yet available in South Africa). Apple Pay allows users to pay using only their iPhone or Apple Watch at any payments terminal that supports contactless payments.

Apple Card users will also be able to get a physical card for shopping at locations where Apple Pay is not accepted yet. The Apple Card is made of titanium and features no card number, CVV security code, expiration date or signature.

The company says this makes the card more secure than any other physical credit card, and that all this information is available to users through the Wallet app.

The Apple Card will be issued by Goldman Sachs, the first consumer credit card the financial institution will dispense. Apple says because Goldman Sachs is a newcomer to the credit card space, it is able to create a new experience for customers, which includes never sharing or selling data to third-parties for marketing and advertising.

"Simplicity, transparency and privacy are at the core of our consumer product development philosophy," says David M Solomon, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. "We're thrilled to partner with Apple on Apple Card, which helps customers take control of their financial lives."

Apple is also partnering with MasterCard, which will give users the ability to use the Apple Card where ever MasterCard is accepted around the world.

Money back every day

The Apple Card comes with a built-in rewards programme. Users are able to earn money back by using their Apple Card. For every transaction that is made using the physical Apple Card, users will get 1% of the total purchase back. For every purchase made using Apple Pay, users will get 2% back. For every purchase made directly with Apple, such as through the App Store, users will get 3% back.

This amount they receive back can be used the same day as it is earned for purchases using Apple Pay, or that reward money can be sent to other people.

The app will also provide users with insights into their spending habits. Each transaction will be labelled with merchant names and locations, and then put into a category such as 'food' or 'entertainment'. Users will be sent weekly and monthly spending summaries so they can see where they are predominantly spending their money.

"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," says Jennifer Bailey, vice-president of Apple Pay.

Initially, Apple Card will only be available to qualified US customers when it launches mid-year.