The FinTech Chemist: An Apple a Day Leads to a New Way to Pay

Studying the properties and composition that make up the FinTech ecosystem

Welcome to this week’s industry analysis with the FinTech Chemist. While I may not be literally mixing solutions and preparing reagents, I am studying and testing out the latest and greatest in FinTech. We all know this saying: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” While the scientific community still debates this old adage, there’s no mistaking the impact of the technology giant: Apple. Just a few weeks ago, Apple launched the Apple Card. However, with so many options, when it comes to credit card providers, why does this one have the masses buzzing?

Competition in the marketplace is never a bad thing, and the newly minted Apple Card is aiming to shake things up. Apple’s foray into credit cards is a big step, and it was surprising to learn that the tech company partnered Goldman Sachs and MasterCard to bring its vision to life. Goldman serves as the card’s issuing bank, and Mastercard connects card users to any establishment that’s within its network. As an article by Forbes stated, “Not only is this a new step for Apple, it’s also a first for Goldman Sachs. The financial services giant is known more for investment services, but has moved into consumer savings accounts and loans with Marcus and has now decided to stick its toe into the credit card waters.”

Apple has boasted a ton of exciting features to attract users, so what differentiates it from other providers? I caught up with Dani Fava, Director of Innovations at TD Ameritrade Institutional, who loves keeping up with emerging FinTech trends. Ms. Fava is a fan of the new card, and calls Apple’s credit card release the “summer of ‘19 blockbuster.” She explained that “the card was born digital. There’s quite a difference between going digital and starting there. About 67% of millennials don’t have credit cards. This customer segment is Apple’s primary target; that’s almost 65 million people in the US alone.” The card opening process is seamless and can be completed in less than three minutes, and automatically links to Apple Pay and Safari, where the autofill feature is triggered immediately. Hello, frictionless experience! Ms. Fava also stated, “Your ‘bill’ is more like a personal financial plan that helps you identify spending habits and pinpoint merchants… And Apple’s UI design helps you understand and avoid paying interest because Apple is not a big, bad bank.”

At a high-level, here’s what to love, and a few things to consider if you’re interested in the card:

An apple a day may or may not keep the doctor away, but the new Apple Card is certainly worth considering. With its no-fuss approach and simple rewards program, it’s a great choice for users who are concerned with convenience and security. Now, onto my next scientific… I mean FinTech hypothesis adventure. And, as always, remember to take your vitamins!

Read the previous edition of The FinTech Chemist.