Apple Card: features, prices, French release

Apple’s credit card, launched in August 2019 in the United States, offers budget management tools and a cash back program.

The Apple Card is a credit card launched on August 20, 2019 in the United States. It is stored in the Wallet application of the iPhone and works with Apple Pay. To obtain it, you need at least an iPhone 6 and the inscription is done in just “a few minutes”, according to Apple’s website. The physical Apple Card which contains 90% titanium has a minimalist design like Apple’s logo and no number or cryptogram is written on it. The Apple Card is not a debit card, which is frequently used in France, but a credit card, more common for the United States. To develop this card, Apple has partnered with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard. The US giant assures that “Goldman Sachs will never share or sell data to any third persons for advertising or marketing purposes” but they will have access to the list of transactions in order to combat money laundering or the financing of terrorism.


Apple Card features

The Apple Card offers features similar to those of the online banks. The service is available 24/7 by sending just an SMS. It offers a cash back program, called Daily Cash, ranging from 1 to 3%. The company gives back 3% for any purchase made in the Apple galaxy (stores, Apple’s official website, Appstore, iTunes etc.) and for several brands such as Uber, UberEATS, Walgreens as long as you use Apple Pay. The American giant regularly adds new partners and retailers. Two percent are reversed for all purchases made with the Apple wallet and 1% using only the Apple Card. The cash back, which is very common in the United States, is reversed on a daily basis.


Apple Card fees’

The Apple Card is provided free of charge. There is no annual or international fee. On the other hand, there is some interests since it is a credit card. Interest rates range from 12.99 to 23.99%. To help its customers make the right choices, Apple offers several payment options and calculates the interest on the different methods of payment in real time.

The problem is that in France, the interchange fee is 0.2% or 0.3%. In other words, paying back 1% or 2% on each payment would be a nonsense for Apple, which would lose a lot of money. Only Daily Cash in the Apple Store would be a possibility, as Apple would be both sender and receiver.


Apple Card in France

For the time being, the US giant is not planning to launch the Apple Card in France, but Goldman Sachs does not exclude an international expansion. “With this product, we’re going to start in the United States, but over time, we’ll definitely think about the international opportunities it offers,” Richard Gnodde, the CEO of Goldman Sachs International, told the CNBC. “Goldman Sachs” is not present on the retail market in France, but he is in the UK with its Marcus savings platform. No deployment in France is planned either.

In an interview with “Les Echos”, Tim Cook talked about Apple’s banking ambitions abroad: “In the US, we are working with Goldman Sachs. In France, we need to find a retail bank that is particularly flexible. The world doesn’t need a new credit card. It needs the credit card to be re-thought.”

A propos de Alexandru BORTA

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