The Apple Smart/Credit Card is the newest innovative offering of Apple Inc. While the card has been primarily designed and made to be used on the Apple devices including the Apple watch and the iPhone along with Apple Pay, it can also be used at other instances including stores, websites, apps, and others, platforms that connect with Apple Pay and the new Card.
This smart card was announced on 25th March 2019, in an Apple Special Event that brought to the notice of all the new services and products that are being launched by the company.
While the Apple Card is wholly owned by Apple itself, the company will be collaborating with the banks to a certain extent to enhance the reach of the card and to make it accessible to everyone.
Goldman Sachs will be providing the support to Apple as the Issuing Bank for the Apple card. MasterCard will extend its own global payment network so that the Apple Card can be used everywhere.
The 2 Forms of the Apple Credit/Smart Card
The virtual Apple card will be present in the app i.e. the wallet app of the user, in his/her smartphone. Users will be able to make purchases on the phone by using the card, which will have the usual card number and the CVV number. While the users may not require it, there is also a physical version of the Apple Card.
The Titanium Card has been designed by Apple only and can be used anywhere in the whole world. The Apple Titanium card will not be having any CVV security code or card number, and will also be devoid of the signature (that is printed on the credit cards), and expiration date.
The user has to get all this information through the Apple wallet app while using the physical card. The card is useful at places/shops where the contactless Apple payment system is not accepted.
While the other physical cards can be used anywhere, the Apple Card is not devoid of exclusive benefits. It will offer a great number of cash-back offers and rewards, much more than what a physical card from some other company would do.
The users get real money or “Daily Cash” whenever they make a purchase through the card, and the reward money can be used through the iPhone itself, for making the next or subsequent purchases.
There is no limit to the number of cash rewards you can get. The cash rewards can be used to buy things on the physical stores, websites or Apps, and the purchases can be made through the user’s Mac, iPhone, Apple Watch or the iPad.
Apple also gives special cash back or rewards on using the Apple Smart card on things that you buy from Apple itself. You will get a 3% cash back straight away on all purchases that you make on iTunes, AppStore, Apple.com or the Apple Store.
You can buy the games, Apple music subscription, the iCloud storage plans or make the in-app purchases, and the reward and cash-back will be there for you credited straight to your account.
A 2% cash back is provided for the purchases that use the Apple Smart Card and Apple Pay, for all the categories.
Even when you make a purchase on a website that is not using Apple Pay for receiving payments as of now, including the Apps, websites or stores, there is still a 1% cash back for you when you use the Apple Smart Card for making the purchase.
The sign-up process may span across a few minutes only, and is highly simple and intuitive for the users. The users do not have to go to any bank for signing-in for the Apple Card and can do that on the iPhone itself. Issues related to sign-in or any other can be resolved easily.
Users are also required to have a cash card account to get the cash-rewards, and more information in this regard is available on the Apple Pay website. If a user of Apple Card does not have a cash card account, the balance cash rewards will be credited to him/her on the statement balance.
While Apple products and offerings may be priced higher than their counterparts in the market, the same might not hold true for the Apple Card. The company has stated that the rates will rank amongst the lowest in the industry, but there would be nothing much surprising as the interest rate will be in the usual 12% to 24% range. The users will also have a set credit limit for the Apple Card.
The more financially disciplined users of the Apple Card will be spending the least towards the interest rates. For this, they have to pay their full balance every month. The user can also select any amount, and the app will calculate the interest rates.
The card will also offer to you the suggestions, where you might to have to spend a little more than the amount you have decided, but this will help in paying off the balance much earlier, and at a lower interest rate.
Unlike other credit cards where the payment date can be randomly chosen, the payment date for the Apple Smart Card is the last of a month, each month. This would be good for the users as the date is instantly memorable.
Apart from that, the user can also decide the payment date by him/herself (for instance weekly payment) to match the payment date with the date when he or she gets paid.
The users should know and remember that they will save on interest rates by paying more often. The Apple Card will also provide the user's reminders that their due date for payment is approaching, which would provide for more efficiency and overcoming of negligence.
Just a glance on your Wallet App, and you will know in which areas or categories the spending has been made by you by using your Apple Card. All the purchases are assigned a category (entertainment, shopping, food, and drinks, etc.) automatically, and even a color. You will also know the major areas in which the expenditures have taken place.
For instance, if you find lots of pinks on a Tuesday or in any month (say March), you have been spending heavily on entertainment. It is also easy for you to trace all your spending. For instance, the smart card app connects with the maps as well and shows exactly where any given spending was done.
There will be many new and other features to the Apple Card as well that will help the users to manage their spending better and will help them to set and achieve their spending goals. The employees of the company Apple will be the very first to use and test the Apple card.
The Apple card will have even greater security features for you. For instance, while the card will have the card number, users would also be able to generate any new number of their liking for the card.
This would be as simple as hitting a button for generating the new Primary Account Number (PAN) and can be done at any point of time the user wishes. Therefore, whenever a user suspects that the security of the card has been compromised and the card number might be leaked, he/she can change the number.
The biometric authentication makes the Apple Smart Card one of the most secure cards ever. Whenever a user wants to use the Apple card for making a purchase, he/she will have to get himself authenticated through the face, fingerprint, or the wrist and passcode.
Also, when the user holds the device near to the vendor’s card reading machine, only the one-time password is transferred to the vendor’s machine and not the credit card number. The vendor can never actually see the credit card number of the customer who is using the Apple card. This technology already exists in Apple Pay.
There is a possibility that the Apple watch of the user gets stolen and the passcode gets accessible to the thief. But if this happens, the user of the Apple smart card can go to the “find my iPhone” section of Apple or and login to icloud.com and can remove the card.
The users will get a notification on their phone whenever the Apple card is used for making a purchase. Apple will also issue a notification to the user on any suspicious or unusual spending related to the app and credit card.
For instance, the user might be living in, say Washington, and might be making purchases there. If suddenly spending or expenditure through the use of the Apple card is made in Dubai, Apple will issue a notification to the user.
All kinds of activities are reported to the user. If the user does not recognize any spend or charge, he/she only needs to tap on the relevant app button, report the issue, and Apple will do what is necessary.
Users, therefore, will escape/prevent all kinds of fraudulent charges. The user can also text message any query he/she has, and Apple customer care will respond at the earliest. The user has to text a message to the Apple customer support, and the rest will be taken care of by the company itself.
The fees of the credit cards can be quite high, and that is why many people refrain from owning one. Apple Card does not have any kind of fee. There are no-fee pertaining to the use of cards such as the return-payment fee, international fee, cash-advance fee or annual fee.
There will be no other or hidden fee as well. Therefore, the user can make lots of financial savings, and we soon find many users of other cards switching to the Apple Smart Card.
Also, there will no untoward surprises for the users at the end of the month, when they want to pay the balance. What more! There is no fee for late payments as well. If a user misses the payment, Apple won’t be levying any high-interest penalty rates or late fee. But the payment amount will continue to accrue the interest, in accordance with regular interest rates, until the final payment is done.
Apple has done good and ample efforts to ensure that the privacy of the Apple Card users is not compromised in any way. The secure element of the Apple device, like the iPhone, stores the unique permanent card, which is also created on the device itself. The secure element is also a high-security perk of Apple Pay.
All the purchases will generate the dynamic security code (a one-time code) and further authentication will be done by the Touch ID or Face ID. Apple will not be knowing the places where the user shops, the purchases he/she makes, or the amount the user pays.
The new and exciting debut may take place sometime in summer this year itself, i.e. 2019. If you want to be one of the earliest subscribers of the Apple Card, go to the website of the firm, reach to the “Apple card” page, and choose the “Notify me” option, which is on the top right-hand corner.
While Apple already collects a fee from multimedia and app sales, it aims to double its services revenue through the Apple Credit/Smart Card. The card will connect seamlessly with Apple Pay, Apple stores, and iTunes, and the users will get a convenient and delightful experience to shop Apple apps, iTunes and websites while getting the cash-back accrued to their account every day.
Apple is also transforming itself into a more services company, and from being a manufacturer of highest quality electronic, software and communication devices manufacturer. The Apple card will also be the first credit card of Goldman Sachs, the global investment giant. Apple has already collaborated and partnered with Barclay’s for the Barclay Visa Card, which Apple promotes for financing the purchases on the Apple stores.
How the new Goldman Sachs partnership will be affecting the old Barclay one still has to be seen. But one thing for sure is that both Apple Pay and the Apple card will be in a very symbiotic and profitable partnership and will get many new subscribers as well as revenues.
Many people hate their credit card providers and associated banks because of the inconvenience involved, and the hidden as well as excessive fee structures where the card user is charged on almost anything done by using the credit card. The innovative company Apple is focusing heavily on keeping the interest rates low and also has made the Apple Smart Card devoid of a range of fees, and overt and hidden charges that other credit cards carry.
While Apple ambitions in the credit card and financial/ bank industry may still be unknown, it may replicate its earlier heart-winning offerings and performance in this sector as well and might be the first choice of millions of credit card users worldwide.
Related read: Apple Special Event Highlights 2019