Apple Card: a reminder


Apple Card is Apple’s first entry into the credit card market. Here’s what professionals need to know about the Apple Card.

Apple announced its entry into the credit card industry in March 2019 with the Apple Card, an Apple-branded credit card designed to make financial decision-making easier. Unlike traditional credit cards, which mainly exist as physical items with digital functionality, the Apple Card can be considered a digital first credit card. It is tightly integrated with Apple Pay, and although a physical titanium credit card is available, Apple intends to use the Apple Card primarily from an iPhone or Apple watch via Apple Pay.

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Image: Apple

On April 20, 2021, Apple announced a new feature of the Apple Card: Apple Card Family. Apple Card customers can add up to five people to their Apple Card account by sharing an Apple Card with them in Wallet. All users must be in the same Family Sharing group to be invited to Apple Card Family and be 13 years of age or older.

Apple Card customers can add up to five people to their Apple Card account by sharing Apple Card with them in Wallet. All users must be in the same Family Sharing group to be invited to Apple Card Family and be 13 years of age or older.

The Apple Card has many innovative features that could make it an ideal credit card for people who have already invested in the Apple product ecosystem. This cheat sheet will tell you everything you need to know about the Apple Card, including whether it is worth considering as a corporate credit card. It is also available for download, Apple Card: a cheat sheet (free PDF).

SEE: Mobile Device Security: Tips for IT Professionals (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What is the Apple Card?

The Apple Card is Apple’s first entry into the credit card market. It was created in partnership with Goldman Sachs and is a Mastercard, which means it is accepted wherever a Mastercard can be used.

The Apple card differs from other credit cards because, in Apple’s words, it is “a credit card designed for the iPhone”. Apple Card users have the option of getting a physical card, but it’s more like a backup option when Apple Pay isn’t available.

Apple designed the Apple Card to be used almost exclusively with Apple Pay and the Wallet app. Apple Card enrollment is done in the Wallet app, which is also where all Apple Card spending metrics are displayed.

Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay at Apple, said the Apple Card is designed to help users make better financial decisions, a process that “starts with [giving consumers] a better understanding of their spending so they can make smarter choices with their money. “

The Wallet app automatically tracks Apple Card spending, categorizes transactions based on purchase type and geographic location, and provides weekly and monthly spending summaries.

Weekly and monthly color-coded expense reports by category (food, shopping and entertainment) and track how much has been spent month after month.

SEE: All TechRepublic Cheat Sheets and Smart Person Guides

In addition to its robust metrics, the Apple Card offers other features likely to attract people interested in opening a new line of credit, including:

  • There are no fees associated with owning an Apple card, in particular, according to Apple, no late fees, no annual fees, no cash advance fees, no foreign transaction fees and no over limit fees.
  • There is no penalty for a missed payment – late or missed payments will equal additional accrued interest.
  • Payments can be scheduled from the Wallet app, and when choosing a payment amount, users will see how much interest they will accumulate based on their remaining balance.
  • Purchasing products from Apple (via Apple Store or App Store) will earn 3% Cash Back, using Apple Pay with Apple Card will reward 2% Cash Back and 1% on all purchases where Apple Pay is not accepted.
  • Making purchases with the physical card will reward 1% cash back.
  • Unlimited daily cash back is one of the key features that Apple has highlighted. Cash Back Rewards are added to a user’s Apple Pay balance and can be used for purchases, to pay off the Apple Card balance, or to send to other Apple Pay users through iMessage. Cash returns are calculated daily.
  • Real-time fraud protection alerts users whenever an Apple Card transaction occurs, even one they make, allowing the user to accept or block a purchase. If a fraudulent debit is reported, users will not be responsible for the payment.
  • Apple Card Family Users (up to five people between 13-18) can learn to use and manage the credit on their parents’ account. People over 18 can opt for creditworthiness.

The physical Apple card that users get is also innovative. It’s an obvious Apple design – minimal and built in titanium. It doesn’t have an expiration date, card number, CVV code, or signature, which makes card theft much less of a concern.

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Image: Apple

What are the security and privacy features of the Apple card?

Security is one of the features presented by Apple in its Apple Card announcement. Besides the physical card designed to deter theft, the digital side of the Apple card has many features that make it secure and privacy-focused.

The heart of Apple Card security, like most of Apple’s other security features for its mobile devices, lies in the Secure Element chip. The secure element is an encrypted chip in which sensitive information, such as Touch ID / Face ID biometric data, is stored.

Data stored in the secure element is inaccessible to iOS, macOS, and watchOS, is never shared with Apple, and is never stored online. In short, the Apple card has a security feature that requires it to be authorized on a user’s particular device using their face or fingerprint for verification.

SEE: iPhone 12: A Cheat Sheet (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)

When a new Apple Card is created on an iPhone, a unique device ID is created and stored in the secure element. Each Apple Card transaction requires not only the card number, but also the unique device ID and a one-time code that is generated when the card owner verifies the transaction using Touch ID or Face ID. . In an ideal world where biometric security is foolproof, that means stealing an iPhone won’t necessarily result in the theft of an Apple Card.

Is the Apple Card a good business card option?

Apple did not say the card was exclusively for consumers, but the way Apple discusses and markets the card describes the card as almost exclusively a consumer product and not a commercial product.

The Apple Card is tightly integrated with Apple Pay and the Wallet app, which means it is closely tied to individual Apple IDs. Companies that want their employees to use an Apple card seem to have no way of managing the card since all payment information is processed through the card owner’s Apple ID.

Even if a company did register its employees for individual Apple IDs, there would still be no reliable way for them to track card purchases since all of the information associated with a card is logged into the device on which it is. created.

In short, it doesn’t seem like the business world was thought of when the Apple card was designed; Whether that will change in the future remains to be seen, but businesses looking for a new corporate card should probably look elsewhere.

SEE: Checklist: Manage and Troubleshoot iOS Devices (TechRepublic Premium)

How can I get the Apple card?

The Apple Card is now available to all US-based customers, provided you have an iPhone 6 or newer. Interested customers should also be running iOS or iPadOS 13.2 or newer, as everything about the card is configured in the latest version of the Wallet app.

As for the release in other countries, there has been no official word from Apple yet, but according to TechRepublic sister site CNET, executives at Goldman Sachs thinks it will be available internationally at a later date.

According to Apple, applying for an Apple card is designed to be simpler, but you will still need to pass a credit check to get the card; even then, the APR will vary depending on your credit score. According to the Apple Card website, the APR will vary between 10.99% and 21.99% (based on credit score, April 2020 rate).

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated by Kristen Lotze to include new announcements regarding the Apple Card.

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Image: Apple



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Darcy J. Skinner

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