With Apple Inc. starting the rollout of its brand-new Apple Card and its availability expected to reach more than 40 countries by the end of the year, we wanted to take a moment to give you a brief overview of this new payment device.
What is it
Apple Card is, first and foremost, a virtual payment card. This means that it is capable of completing payment transactions via contactless payment points or online.
How it works
Apple Card works through your smart phone or any other Apply Pay-supported device. At a system level, the card connects to a user’s Apple Wallet via his/her Apple ID, meaning that Android users won’t be able to use Apple Card.
Apple is also providing users with a physical card to use where contactless payment is not an option. The titanium card is much more secure than traditional credit cards as it only has the user’s name on the front and a strip on the back (i.e. no card number, no CVV security code, no expiration date and no signature on the card). The physical card is activated by synchronizing with an Apple device (e.g. an iPhone), much in the way that Apple’s AirPods work.
How can you get it
The Apple Card requires an Apple device running on iOS 12.4 or newer to work. To apply for an Apple Card, a user must simply open the “Wallet” app.
How to pay an Apple Card balance
To pay the balance on the Apple Card, simply execute a payment from a bank account linked to the same Apple ID or use existing Apple Cash funds available in the “Wallet” app.
The Apple Card offers cashback rewards for every transaction:
- 3% on goods and services purchased directly from Apple (including Apple retail stores, the online Apple store, the App Store, iTunes and Apple Music)
- 2% cashback on Apply Pay purchases
- 1% cashback on all other purchases
Cashback can be earned every day, and cashback rewards can be withdrawn directly into a user’s bank account. Apple Card also features special offers from Mastercard and has no fees (including annual fees, late fees, over-the-limit fees and fees from foreign purchases).
For each Apple Card, Apple creates a unique card number that’s stored securely. All payments are required to be confirmed using Face ID or Touch ID along with a one-time unique dynamic security code. For non-Apple Pay transactions on apps or websites that require a card, the Wallet app or Safari web browser autofills the user’s virtual card number.
What you can’t buy
The Apple Card customer agreement stipulates that the card cannot be used to purchase cash advances or cash equivalents such as cryptocurrencies, casino gaming chips, race track wages and lottery tickets.
Goldman Sachs is Apple’s partner in this endeavor. Prior to their selection, Citigroup was also considered; however, they backed out amid concerns over how profitable the venture would ultimately be. Barclays, Synchrony and JP Morgan Chase have also expressed similar concerns.
It should be noted that Goldman Sachs does have access to Apple Card data for internal reporting purposes; however, the terms of their agreement with Apple stipulate that this data cannot be used for any marketing or advertising (internal or external) nor can it be given or sold to any other third party.
Apple Card represents a new step in Apple’s efforts to enter the financial sector. Although Apple is recognized in the same light as BigTechs Amazon and Uber, Apple still lags behind as both have already issued their own payment cards and have more experience in providing bonuses and other benefits to clients.