Apple Makes a Half-Hearted Attempt in FinTech, Announces Apple Card

Apple ultimately plans a major disruption in the financial sector by introducing its new Apple Card that comes with interesting new features and machine learning smarts. However, it seems that Apple could have done much more.

Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

Tech companies these days are eager to test the waters of the global payments industry and Apple Inc. is no different. On Monday, March 25, Apple made a series of announcements for its new services. Besides planning some disruption in the gaming and television industry, the Cupertino-based tech giant also announced the new Apple Card.

Apple Card is basically a new type of credit card allowing “customers lead a healthier financial life”. The Apple Card comes built-in the Apple Wallet app on the iPhone allowing customers to manage their expenses in a seamless manner.

Besides, the company also gives customers a physical “titanium, laser‑etched” card to use in places where Apple Pay is not available. Unlike other traditional credit cards, Apple’s physical titanium card won’t carry any other info except the customer’s name. All other details like the expiry date, CVV number, etc. is available directly in the Apple Pay wallet. 

Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay, made the official announcement on Monday. She said:

“Apple Card builds on the tremendous success of Apple Pay and delivers new experiences only possible with the power of iPhone. 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.”

Daily Cash Rewards System

As with Apple’s entire ecosystem, the Apple Card aims to bring convenience to manage their spendings. It provides a comprehensive and real-time view of all the latest transactions and balance in the wallet. Also, it bifurcates all the expenditures in different color-coded categories for Shopping and Entertainment, Food and Drinks.

Thus, users can get a quick idea on their weekly and monthly expenditures just at a glance. Apple will also employ some machine learning smarts and Apple Maps for tracking the expenditures. It does it by labeling transactions with merchant names and locations.

Furthermore, the company also introduces a Daily Cash rewards mechanism for frequent users of Apple Card. Apple rewards 2% Daily Cash, a type of cash back, for customers using Apple Card with Apple Pay. The company also provides 3% Daily Cash reward for purchases made with Apple.

This includes purchases made at the App Store, Apple Stores, or Apple services. Also, the Daily Cash rewards will be reimbursed into the customers’ Apple Pay wallet on a daily basis. Customers can use the cash back rewards during the next purchases or either send it to friends and family through iMessages.

Apple’s Attractive ‘No-Fee’ Model

Read that again! Yes, Apple won’t charge a dime on the Apple Card. No annual fee, no late fee, no charges absolutely for international transactions, and no fee for exceeding the credit limit.

Also, with the Apple Card, the company plans to keep interest rates which are the lowest in the entire industry. Moreover, if the customers skip on the payment, he/she won’t be charged any penalty rate.

With built-in machine learning smarts, Apple Card also helps customers makes informed decisions. It shows a range of payment options and calculates the interest costs on different principle amounts in real-time. To pay less interests, Apple Card suggests customers to pay a bit more. It also provides the facility to schedule frequent payments.

Top-Level Security And Privacy

When it comes to ensuring security and privacy for its customers, Apple always stays ahead of the game. Each Apple Card carries a unique card number, created on the iPhone stored in the security chip. Each purchase made is secured through Apple’s Face ID, Touch ID, and also a one-time unique dynamic security code.

The built-in security architecture ensures top-level privacy in a way that Apple doesn’t know what the customer purchased, how much he/she paid for, or where they shopped.

Apple has partnered with giants like Goldman Sachs and Mastercard from the financial space. Goldman Sachs will provide Apple Card owner bank support while Mastercard offers its entire global payments network.

Apple’s Half-Hearted Attempt at FinTech

Apple Card certainly aims to ease up customer spendings and payments using credit cards. Also, including machine learning techniques is a major attempt in uplifting the FinTech industry. However, known for being a disruptor, Apple could have done much more towards having blockchain-based digital payments.

Although the company ensures high-level security and privacy, the use of blockchain could have probably taken the game to the next level. Alternatively, Apple could have also gone for a Facebook-like approach of spending its own digital assets across different merchant locations.

Although the company plans a major entry in the FinTech sector, it looks like somewhere something is missing from the tech behemoth, considering the recent developments in the FinTech sector.

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