The Apple Card is the best thing to happen to Apple since the iPhone

Discussion
Photos: Apple
Mar 29, 2019
Phil Rubin

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the rDialogue blog, Relevant Dialogue.

With its new credit card, Apple is taking a page from Amazon.com’s strategy and acting like a loyalty leader, changing the game for brands that matter or at least act like they do. Apple Card is launching with no fees or late payments, a low APR, cash-back rewards, and — significantly — a value proposition that neatly integrates into Apple Pay and its iOS. This positions Apple in a unique way and offers its customers a better value proposition and a better customer experience for payments and credit.


Introducing Apple Card — Coming Summer 2019 – YouTube

Perhaps even more significant is that Apple is squarely committed to consumer privacy and will not share data with third parties. This is unlike banks that work with third parties like Cardlytics — and especially unlike platforms like Facebook, Google and the rest of the FAANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google). In spite of our criticism of Apple for its lack of personalization and its now tired retail customer experience, the company is pursuing a path that’s good for it — and also quite good for its customers.  

Three things that will drive Apple’s growth serve as examples to us all:

  1. Apple takes privacy seriously and is ahead of the rest of the FAANG companies and others. Its commitment to not remarketing data is significant and a real differentiator, both for customers and, ultimately, lawmakers.
  2. Apple is expanding its ecosystem strategically, which will drive growth organically and profitably.
  3. It is pivoting to customers, doing things better than others on behalf of customers and embarking on a clearly customer-centric strategy for its business.

The last point is the key to unlocking Apple’s value and it comes at a critical juncture. As data and privacy are going to be increasingly regulated, it’s increasingly incumbent on companies to be customer-centric, not only for legal reasons, but because it’s good for customers and their trust of the brand.

That makes this the best thing Apple has done since the iPhone.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is Apple Card a game changer in the payments or loyalty space? Is this how Apple should be thinking of shifting from a hardware company to more of a services and media company?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Apple is complementing future-seeking gadget development with services that cultivate customers' confidence in having a long-term relationship with the Apple brand."
"Yes definitely a game changer. I think the line about “not created by your bank” is going to resonate big time with customers."
"The card’s integration with customers’ most personal item, their phone, becomes an ecosystem play that expands the wallet concept by 10x."

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13 Comments on "The Apple Card is the best thing to happen to Apple since the iPhone"


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Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

It’s smart, it’s the right thing to invest in, but it’s not a game changer like the iPhone. The iPhone was transformational – it shifted everything from how we consume media to how we take photos. The card is just a good evolution of what exists already. And let’s be honest, the reason Apple needs to push into services is because its products have lost their edge and are not generating as much growth.

Bob Amster
BrainTrust

I should recuse myself (like more prominent people have been doing recently) because I am an Apple bigot. At first, I questioned how Apple could make real money with this card when they decided not to charge for things for which its competitors charge. Then I realized that this is a strategy to expand Apple’s ecosystem, gather more names and addresses to which Apple can market without selling the lists to others. There are patterns of customer behavior that Apple can track without intrusion (when do I shop, where do I shop, how much do I spend). The card itself is as slick as all other Apple products and slicker than all competing cards. The Apple Card will be a game changer but mostly in Apple’s favor for a couple of years until the also-rans get into a similar game. We may be witnessing genius at work…

Carol Spieckerman
BrainTrust

This is a neat synopsis of the mutual benefits of one of Apple’s big business model shifts. The premise guiding Apple’s business for years has been to show the customer what they will want in the future rather than asking what they want now. The Apple Card and other recent moves mark a larger shift toward proactive customer-centricity. Apple is no longer tethered to its latest iPhone iteration. Now, it is complementing future-seeking gadget development with services that cultivate customers’ confidence in having a long-term relationship with the Apple brand across multiple touch points. Apple really stands out by getting ahead of inevitable privacy crack-downs. What a super smart path Apple is clearing!

Charles Dimov
BrainTrust

Finally! WeChat has been doing much of this in the Chinese/Asian market, but it is great to see this finally coming to North America, Europe, Australia, and ROW markets. Yes definitely a game changer. I think the line about “not created by your bank” is going to resonate big time with customers. Banks and the financial industry are just not known for being customer friendly (forms, bureaucracy, hidden fees, charges, interest — all the nasty stuff comes to mind).

Well done on Apple’s side. Now Google, we need something like this from you — for those of us in Android mode.

Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

Just as many other organizations are experiencing, Apple is undergoing their own transformation from a product dominated innovation model, to one that is diversifying by adding on service and payment capabilities. This is not a transformative game changer the way the iPhone has evolved to be. However, it’s a clear extension of the Apple brand offering.

Apple’s latest announcements are showing the paradigm shift from product innovations to streaming entertainment content, payment services and other service focused capabilities. The Apple ecosystem has their cult following and, by integrating their own credit card into the mix, they are helping to make the payments process even more frictionless.

Mike Osorio
BrainTrust

This is the first Western tech giant that seems to be moving in the direction that Tencent has with its brilliant WeChat platform, which links almost everything one does digitally into one platform. This move by Apple makes it increasingly likely that a large swathe of consumers (in the West) will move onto their platform for an ever-growing percentage of their digital time. Time equals money. Go, Apple, go.

Ananda Chakravarty
BrainTrust

Smart move on Apple’s part — and I’m sold. The card’s integration with customers’ most personal item, their phone, becomes an ecosystem play that expands the wallet concept by 10x. They’re highlighting the privacy and security as well as the cash back opportunity — and enabling further customer data collection. Game changer it is not — because it’s still in the credit game. As for hardware to services, I’m still trying to grasp when Apple was a hardware business – Next or Mac maybe? They’ve been in services and media since the iPod.

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

Several of my colleagues referenced WeChat. This is not WeChat. This is largely a pay system. WeChat is an everything system that includes pay. That is a big difference.

Ricardo Belmar
BrainTrust
Game changer? No, not like the iPhone. What this is, is a very smart play to gain even more stickiness with their iPhone customers. What iPhone customer that gets an Apple Card will ever switch to Android? Probably close to zero! How many Android users will now consider making the switch? Probably many who feel they don’t have the same level of trust with their bank card issuer as they give to Apple. The privacy play Apple is leveraging is well executed on their part and will continue to set them apart from the other big-tech companies. This is a great move to grow the reach and scope of their ecosystem, although I agree with Gene – it’s not the same as WeChat, at least not yet. Let’s see what they come up with next. My question is, how innovative do you rate this new offering? I’m sure some will say it’s still not innovative while many Apple fans will say this is one of the most innovative moves Apple has made in some time.… Read more »
Lee Kent
BrainTrust

This may not be a game changer, but it certainly is taking the card to the next step or two. I am very interested in the security aspects and this seems to address a lot which will help to encourage people to jump on board. One question I did not see addressed is will retailers be charged fees to accept the “card”? Not sure how Apple makes money if not, but this is not my usual focus and that’s just my 2 cents.

Ken Morris
BrainTrust

While it isn’t on the same innovation spectrum as the iPhone, it is certainly a game changer. We live in a time where consumers have lost their trust in organizations and banks. If the Apple Card lives up to its promise, many consumers will ditch their traditional credit cards for peace of mind. What surprises me is that it took them so long to launch this as this has been an open opportunity for some time.

Apple has continued to introduce innovative reoccurring revenue streams to supplement its plateauing hardware sales – iTunes, iCloud, and now Apple Card. I am sure this list will continue to expand.

Oliver Guy
BrainTrust

Interesting perspective. For me there is a big thing about getting hold of the spending data and leveraging it to understand more about their customers. When you look at Alibaba and the amount of data they are collecting on customers because of the huge number of services they offer they truly have a deep understanding of customers — Apple are merely emulating this.

What did surprise me was the physical card — why have one when you don’t need one — why not have a virtual card (as Revolut offers) or simply use the iPhone?

Dan Frechtling
BrainTrust

Apple Card is a straightforward way to keep money inside the Apple iEcosystem.

The 3% cash bonus incentivizes Apple consumers to transfer more payments via Apple Cash, buy more Apple Store gizmos, make more in-app purchases, and transact more in mobile games.

At the same time, it makes Apple Pay itself more top of mind for Apple users, nearly 60% of whom still haven’t enabled Apple Pay on their iPhones. Keeping the consumer in a closed commerce loop was a home run with Amazon Prime but only a pop fly with Apple Pay as we know it. Apple Card will be at least a single.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Apple is complementing future-seeking gadget development with services that cultivate customers' confidence in having a long-term relationship with the Apple brand."
"Yes definitely a game changer. I think the line about “not created by your bank” is going to resonate big time with customers."
"The card’s integration with customers’ most personal item, their phone, becomes an ecosystem play that expands the wallet concept by 10x."

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