You have to give it to the team at Apple, they know how to stand out in a crowd. Check out the picture of that new credit card. No expiry, no CVV, no number.
Just a blank slate of titanium with your name under the Apple logo (of course). Every other premium credit card looks instantly and completely out of date.
Apple Card works with Apple Pay on your iPhone like any other approved credit card, while the physical titanium card works in stores that don’t accept Apple Pay. Apple has removed almost every type of fee that you would usually find on a credit card – though if you’re late in paying the interest rate goes up.
There’s a fascinating interaction with Apple’s internal currency, Apple Pay Cash, which could move hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars onto an Apple controlled platform.
Xero and Intuit will be most interested in the software that goes with the digital/titanium card. It automatically categorises payments, adds map locations and colour logos to transactions, shows monthly expenditure in graphs, and has a dial interface to select the level of repayment and interest.
This is a very interesting story which definitely has implications for accounting software which I’ll examine in greater detail next week. It’s not the first time that big tech companies have edged in on accounting.
Microsoft threw a huge amount of cash with Microsoft Money but was trounced by Intuit. Apple is starting from a very different position – and a fan base far bigger and more loyal than any accounting software (yes, even Xero).
One restriction for the Apple Card is that it appears you must have an iPhone to order one. And most likely a later model. One report expects that iPhone 8 will be the oldest compatible model. This automatically limits the market. It could either harm the potential market share for Apple Card or have the reverse effect and drive more iPhone sales.
It will also depend on a country’s existing iPhone penetration. For example, Apple has a very high market share in Australia; 43 percent of all smartphone users (8.6 million of 19.3 million in 2018) are holding iPhones compared to the global average of 15 percent.
In comparison, the figure in the UK and US is about 33 percent. Only in Japan does the iPhone enjoy a higher (45 percent) market share.
So I would hope we will get a close look at the impact of this essentially new technology combination.
A watershed in accounting tech for sure.
Image credit: Apple