August 7th: The Apple Card Edition

The Apple Card launched! A random group of people have been preselected to apply for Apple’s credit card, backed by Goldman Sachs.


Goddamn that’s slick. I hate calling a bank to activate a card—it seems like unnecessary friction and in 2019, bad experiences like that stick out to users like a sore thumb.


9to5Mac has a breakdown of Apple Card’s onboarding.

If you’re familiar with product development for fintech apps, onboarding is one of the biggest drop off points for users. They need to give companies a significant amount of personal information before they can access the actual product, which requires a lot of trust in a brand. For startups that have only been around for a few years, that’s harder to build.

Some of my notes:

  • Apparently, the author only had to enter their Date of Birth, last 4 digits of their social security number, and annual income. Apple had everything else. That dramatically reduces the time spent on onboarding.

  • Approval took around 30 seconds, according to the author

  • “The virtual card design of Apple Card is a neat, responsive heat map based on the different categories in which you’ve spent money. Thus far, I’ve used Apple Card for Starbucks and App Store purchases, so my card is a mix of pink and orange.” Damn this sounds SICK

  • The author also complimented the transaction page: “One of my favorite things about Apple Card’s integration with the Wallet app is how straightforward the transactions list is. Many card companies display a jumbled list of transaction and merchant IDs, but Apple Card clearly shows you the merchant name, and a map of where the transaction was made.”

Some Tweets

Here’s a thread from a VP at American Express some UI nuances with the Apple Card

Payments expert Brian Roemmelle agrees with the Apple Card application experience. The Top of Wallet aspect is key…

The Verge’s Nilay Patel notes the product design nudges users towards using your Apple Card as your default in the Wallet app. By owning the hardware and financial instrument, Apple can continually nudge users to use the Apple Card throughout the entire iOS experience, by making it the easiest to use compared to other cards.

Ben Bajarin notes that the Daily Cash feature, Apple Card’s cashback program, has changed his behavior a bit already:

Ben also notes in his Techpinon’s column that it makes sense for Apple Card users to move their subscription services to the Apple Card as well, since they’d qualify for the 3% cashback tier. With 420 million subscriptions, Apple has a ton of potential as a sort of subscription marketplace too.

Goldman’s benefit from this has been underreported. The amount of valuable transaction data they’re going to be collecting from powering the Apple Card is profound and has a ton of implications. Will be diving deeper into the potential for Goldman, and where Apple goes from here, in an upcoming Apple Pay Special Report.

Funding of the Day

Klarna, a payment processing startup, raised $460 million at a $5.5 billion valuation—making it the highest valued unlisted fintech startup in Europe

Chart of the Day

According to a Morgan Stanley report that analyzed Google Trends, people are HYPED for the Apple Card:

Job of the Day

Stealth seed fintech company looking for some help from someone w experience in financial modeling and cap tables. Specific project is to model out a unique venture fund model. Email at if you’re interested

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