The rumors were true — Apple is releasing its own credit card. Apple Card promises to make the most of the company’s privacy, simplicity and (of course) integration with your iPhone. You can sign up for the Goldman Sachs-backed card directly from your device (it’ll be useful right away), and it’ll appear in an updated version of the Wallet app that can show your latest bills, transactions and spending history. Naturally, you can use Messages to ask for customer service.
Security is unsurprisingly important. The virtual version of the card’s data is stored in the same iPhone security chip that handles Apple Pay, and Apple doesn’t know anything about your purchasing history. It also promises that Goldman Sachs won’t share or sell your data to third parties for marketing.
There are financial incentives to use the card. There are technically no fees (not even international or over-the-limit fees), interest rates are “low,” and clear reward programs. Daily Cash, for instance, gives you 2 percent cash back the same day you make any Apple Pay purchase (3 percent if it’s for purchases from Apple) rather than making you wait until your billing period is over.
You will find a bit of a gotcha: while it’s true that you won’t deal with fees if you miss a payment, you will see “additional interest accumulating toward your balance.” You’ll still have to catch up if you slip behind, in other words.
The card won’t be limited to the digital realm. The company is prepping a real-world credit card made from titanium (yes, really) that has no long card number, signature or other potentially identifying info. If a store can’t handle Apple Pay, then, you have a way to use your card without fear that a thief could make easy use of it. All of your identifying info will sit in the Wallet app, after all.
Apple Card launches in the US this summer. There are still many unknowns, but it’s safe to say this is uncharted territory for the company. While it already dipped into finance with Apple Pay Cash, it’s now providing the same kind of service you’d expect from a bank, not a tech giant.