Apple is launching its own credit card that will be tightly integrated into its mobile wallet and promises to help customers lead a "healthier financial life".
Available in the US this summer, the titanium Apple Card is a built into the Apple Wallet app on iPhones and is touting a simple application process, no fees, financial management tools, and top level security and privacy.
As widely predicted, the tech giant has teamed up with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard on the new venture, which takes it deeper into the financial lives of its customers as it focuses on fee-generating services.
Users can sign up for the card in the Wallet app in minutes and start using it with Apple Pay in stores, in apps and online. There are no annual, late, international or over-the-limit fees while interest rates are "among the lowest in the industry" claims Apple.
Machine learning and Apple Maps are being used to label transactions with merchant names and locations, with purchases automatically totaled and organized by color-coded categories. Users also get weekly and monthly spending summaries.
On security and privacy, a unique card number is created on iPhone for Apple Card and stored in the device’s Secure Element, a special security chip used by Apple Pay. Every purchase is authorized with Face ID or Touch ID and a one-time unique dynamic security code.
The physical plastic is also ditching the embossed card number as a way to improve security in case a customer loses it, a move which could be mimicked by banks in favour of more secure limited-use numbers.
With rivals Facebook and Google facing privacy concerns, Apple is stressing that it doesn’t know where a customer shopped, what they bought or how much they paid. Meanwhile, Goldman has committed to not sharing or selling data to third parties for marketing and advertising.
For Goldman, the deal marks another incursion into the consumer market. Says CEOm David Solomon: "We’re thrilled to partner with Apple on Apple Card, which helps customers take control of their financial lives.”
The firm is talking up an attractive rewards programme, with customers receiving a percentage of every purchase amount back as Daily Cash, which is added to the card each day and can be used right away for purchases using Apple Pay, to put toward their Apple Card balance or send to friends and family in Messages.
Jennifer Bailey, VP, Apple Pay, says: “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.”