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Apple possibly making banks obsolete

By Ana Carolina Mejia

Over the years, Apple has made many gadgets obsolete — just take a look at compact cameras, GPS devices and scanners. It even has made its own products obsolete; think of something such as the iPod. On March 25, with the announcement of the new Apple Card, the question now is will Apple attempt to also make banks obsolete?

One of Apple’s goals with this new card is to lessen the cost of using credit. It is a card with no annual fee, no fee for late payments and daily cash back. Rather than trying to make banks redundant, Apple is looking to increase privacy and security. Traditionally, the company has long been characterized for standing for the privacy of its customers.

When comparing it to a traditional credit card, it sounds too good to be true, but it cannot be compared to a traditional credit card. It is, first of all, connected to the iPhone, so whoever wants to get onboard needs to also have an iPhone, because once the person gets the card a unique number is created on the iPhone and it is then stored in the Secure Element.

The physical card is made of titanium and has no numbers on it, not even the CVV number. Its minimalist nature goes along perfectly with the rest of Apple’s products. Just the physical appearance of the card is reason enough to want to have it. As with all other Apple products, it stands out and will be a symbol of status.

For the average customer, the best features are by far the user interface and the Daily Cash feature. The card will be saved in the Wallet app, which is beautifully set up and very interactive, also characterized by Apple’s minimalist brand. Customer service is set up in Messages and the card issuer, Goldman Sachs, will be available at all hours.

The Daily Cashback is Apple’s response to those points that credit card companies say you get when making purchases, but that in reality users, like myself, really do not use because the struggle of redeeming them is too much.

The rewards from the Apple Card go straight to the Wallet at the end of each day. It is money you can see, but at the same time, the rewards are lower than those of other credit cards. Also, Apple Pay is not prevailing yet, so customers would only get 1% back if they use the physical card.

Apple has a way of making the average consumer,myself included, want everything they come out with. A new phone? The same computer I already have but in rose gold? I am there for it. When I heard about the card, I knew I wanted it when I saw the app and the physical version I was sure I needed it.

However,  this card is much more serious than buying the new Apple Watch. The keynote presentation made it seem like something that all iPhone users could take advantage of, but really there is an application to go through and the fine print states many realities that the keynote forgot to mention. For example, there are late fees that will result in additional interest rates.

The biggest pro this credit card has is that it is connected to Apple, therefore aesthetically pleasing and very innovative. Yet, when choosing something as serious,, those two characteristics are not enough. Consumers should take into consideration other perks and rewards and make an informed decision before getting any type of credit card. As for Apple, this is giving us a glimpse of the reach the iPhone has in making things obsolete.

Ana Carolina Mejia can be reached at ana.mejia@spartans.ut.edu

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