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Apple’s first proprietary credit card, which will be issued by Goldman Sachs and Mastercard-branded, is targeted to launch as early as the first half of August, Bloomberg reports.
Consumers will be able to sign up for the card through the iPhone’s Wallet app and receive a physical companion card. The card will offer personal finance management (PFM) features, cash back — including greater rewards for Apple Pay transactions — and a no-fee structure.
Here’s what it means: An August launch would meet Apple’s goal of a summer release and suggest that the card’s overcome Apple’s concerns about its technology.
Apple was reportedly concerned about the technology Goldman Sachs developed for the card in May. The issues centered on some of the card’s mechanics and led Apple to request changes to the technology, but if Apple Card launches in August then those problems likely didn’t slow its introduction down by much, if at all.
Apple Card has receivedpositive feedback in its beta test — it should be noted that this feedback comes from Apple and Goldman Sachs employees — which bodes well for its public launch.
The bigger picture: If these issues were to crop up after Apple Card’s launch and its technology falters, it could bring the card’s benefits into question.
- Early problems that impact Apple Card’s functionality could hurt its adoption both in the short and long term. In an on-site survey of Business Insider readers fielded by Business Insider Intelligence, 85% of respondents with an iPhone said they were at least "somewhat interested" in applying for Apple Card, suggesting strong consumer interest. But if technology issues like the ones that previously concerned Apple plague its early days after launch, consumers may not rush to apply for the card. And since this is Apple’s first proprietary card, consumers may lose trust in its ability to provide a viable card and interest in Apple Card may wane, so having a smooth launch is critical for Apple.
- One of Apple Card’s main values to Apple is its ability to promote Apple Pay usage, but any issues with Apple Card’s adoption would weaken that value. Apple Card will offer 2% cash back on purchases made through the virtual card that are made with Apple Pay, while consumers will receive just 1% cash back on purchases made with the physical card. This clearly incentivizes Apple Pay usage, and with US Apple Pay usage growth lagging, this could give the payment method the boost it needs. But if Apple Card experiences issues after launch, this opportunity will quickly fade, forcing Apple to find other ways to build Apple Pay’s popularity in the US.
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