Apple Debuts Apple Card, A Virtual (And Physical) Credit Card

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And so a tech giant gets into the credit card game.

And not just any tech giant – it’s Apple, the company whose payment services were touted (by at least some) as a credit card killer.

News came Monday (March 25) that Apple – specifically, through its payments service Apple Pay – has launched the Apple Card.

As reported, the company said users sign up for the card through their iPhone, can get approval through the device and can begin using the card immediately. The card is stored in the company’s Wallet application, and can keep users informed of transactions and minimum payments due, while helping them track spending habits.

Beyond the virtual card, CNET reported, the company is also rolling out Apple Card as a physical, titanium card, launching in partnership with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard (which will be responsible for payments processing).

In a Monday statement, Mastercard’s President of North America Craig Vosburg said the card is one for “our digital era,” and that at the core of the new Apple offering lies Mastercard’s token and M Chip technologies, which store the card on digital devices without exposing sensitive data. “Mastercard brought token services to Apple Pay in 2014, and late last year announced its strategy to enable token services on all cards by 2020,” according to the statement.

Among other virtual card features announced by Mastercard are cashback rewards of 2 percent, which are paid out each day the card is used for transactions. For the physical card, the cash back rate is 1 percent.

The company has said there are no late fees, international fees or penalty interest rates. There are also no credit card numbers, required signatures or CVV codes, according to The Verge – as that information is already stored in the Wallet app.

Said CEO Tim Cook at an announcement heralding the card, “while we all need them, there are things about the credit card experience that could be so much better.” The launch comes, notably, after Apple Pay did not show quite the adoption rate some observers had expected. CNET pointed to the PYMNTS stats showing that fewer than a third of iPhone owners have used the services once or more.

The cross-ties with Goldman come after reports earlier this month that Goldman would look to continue its push toward making inroads with a broader audience beyond wealthy and corporate clients.