Report: Apple to Launch Its Own Credit Card

Posted on February 21, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, iOS with 36 Comments

A new report claims that Apple is partnering with Goldman Sachs to launch a new credit card that will integrate with iPhone and help customers better manage their money.

Ignoring for a moment the obvious joke about Apple’s customers desperately needing to better manage their money, this coming product actually seems pretty intriguing. And it should appeal to a younger generation of customers that are just now entering the workforce and starting to think about things like tracking spending, savings, and retirement funding.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is rolling out the new credit card to its employees now so that they can test it and the associated new iPhone capabilities in advance of a fall 2019 public launch. The new software-based capabilities will be exposed through the iPhone’s Wallet app, and it will help users set spending goals, track rewards, and manage account balances. I see this is as a move similar to those Apple made previously around health and fitness tracking, but for finances.

This service also makes a lot of sense for an Apple that is reeling after iPhone sales cooled down and is looking to aggressively ramp up its services business. Credit cards are an obvious need for Apple customers, given the firm’s high product prices, and because it’s a premium brand, it’s like that its credit organization will focus on that type of customer as well.

Today, Apple takes a small percentage of every sale that goes through Apple Pay. But the report notes that Apple would take a larger percentage when purchases are made using its own credit card. In effect, allowing it to double-dip on its fees and advance towards its goal of hitting $50 billion in annual services revenues by next year.

The Apple credit card will apparently be a Mastercard-branded instrument and will use that service’s payment network. Cardholders will earn 2 percent cash back on all purchases made with the card, which isn’t particularly notable. But I’m wondering if Apple might offer a higher percentage back for purchases made on the company’s other products. (The report suggests this is possible.)

It’s easy to be cynical about something like this, but come on: An Apple credit card makes sense. And if the firm can do for financial tracking what it did for health and fitness tracking, this will be a win-win.

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