Apple tends to play it pretty close to the hip when comes to developing new technology. That is not to say they don’t like new tech—they love it—but they are quite particularly in what they choose to develop. For one, they are careful about proprietary mechanics, developing exclusive devices that best work in conjunction with each other. From the Macbook to the iPhone and the iWatch, Apple’s devices are designed to offer superior quality with very little outside interference.
So the fact that they have recently announced a joint effort with Goldman Sachs—to develop a credit card—seems a little out of left field; after all, Apple Wallet is an easy service to use. But looking deeper into this new plan we can see just how co-integrated Apple hopes to keep your organization.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Apple and Goldman Sachs will launch this new card within the next few months. It will pair with new features in the Apple Wallet app that allow users to “set spending goals, track their rewards, and manage their balances.”
Effectively the service will use Mastercard’s payment network, offering two percent rebates on most purchases. This is in line with existing reward cards that are currently offered on the market today. However, the new service might provide exclusive benefits to Apple customers, which is where we start to see Apple’s strategy.
For one, Apple already has a Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards that lets cardholders finance Apple products in addition to earning points on standard purchases. This card comes with annual fee but its advertised 0 percent introductory APR is actually deferred. Also, the points you earn cannot be redeemed for cash: only for Apple or iTunes gift cards. It is not yet clear how point conversion is expected to work with the new Goldman Sachs (Mastercard).
The Apple-Goldman partnership might have come at just the right time, too. Both companies saw shares fell, slightly, to end the week. Apple was down 0.6 percent (to $171.06) and Glodman took a dip of more than 1 percent (to $196.36). If this product takes off, it could certainly help them both.
It is important to remember that all of this information is quite preliminary. If this does sound like something you might like to have, though, do the diligent research about its benefits and potential obstacles and remember to always compare new credit card options with others to find the best one for you.