Technology giant Apple is dipping its toes into the credit card business. The smartphone maker recently announced the arrival of Apple Card. Apple Card is a digital credit card that sits in your Apple Wallet and can be used to charge items wherever Apple Pay is accepted. Apple Card is a partnership with MasterCard and Goldman Sachs.
At the announcement, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, this is “the most significant change in the credit card experience in 50 years.” The tagline in the media release is, “Built on Simplicity, Transparency and Privacy, and Designed to Help Customers Lead a Healthier Financial Life.”
The digital wallet tool Apple Pay has been around for several years. Anyone who has an iPhone can sync their credit card to it and use the app wherever it’s accepted.
Digital shopping is great for convenience, but for those who tend to shop too much, Apple Card can be a dangerous tool in the palm of their hand. Here is what we know about this card, digital wallets and the dangers of overshopping.
Apple Card makes it easy to make purchases
Apple says the card will be easy to sign up for, and approved customers can start using it right away. To stand out in what is already a very crowded space, the card will have no fees, and will offer a lower interest rate than usual. Apple also has customer loyalty programs for those who use the card to pay for their Apple purchases.
According to Apple: “Every time customers use Apple Card with Apple Pay, they will receive two percent Daily Cash. Customers will also get three percent Daily Cash on all purchases made directly with Apple, including at Apple Stores, on the App Store and for Apple services.” This Daily Cash goes right back on the card and can be used immediately.
Digital wallets: temptation to spend more
Going cashless is a great way to track your purchases and look back at your spending and see where you can improve. For free spenders, though, it can create another level of detachment from the fact that you’re spending your hard-earned money. Countless surveys tell us that compared to cash when we spend with a credit card, we spend more. Consumers don’t feel the pain of cash leaving their wallet. Now with digital wallets, they can pay for items using the same device on which they check their Facebook status or search for directions. This could mean even less pain when spending.
Canada as a cashless society
Recently the Bank of Canada released a discussion paper called “Is a Cashless Society Problematic?” They found that Canada is among the world’s leading cashless societies. Others include Sweden and the United Kingdom. From a personal finance perspective, those who find it hard to control their credit card purchases should be careful when signing up for any digital card, including Apple Card. A recent study of mobile payments in China by the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign found consumers spend 23 per cent more money when they use mobile payments. China is one of the heaviest users of mobile payments and the data shows that as use in Canada increases, so could our tendency to overspend.
The card will be available to residents of the United States starting summer 2019. There is no date for a Canadian launch of the card, but when we do get the card, it will be available through your Apple wallet.