The Apple Card is expected to be available to the public any day now following the most recent earnings report where Apple CEO Tim Cook said the card will launch in August. The credit card is being issued in partnership with Goldman Sachs and Apple is spinning the card as an updated way of providing credit to consumers.
The Apple Card will be tightly integrated into the Apple Ecosystem with features that track spending and help users to better manage their money. Purchase something at an Apple store and you will get 3% cashback that same day. Purchase items elsewhere and you may receive a lower percentage back that deposits directly into your Apple Wallet.
One thing you cannot purchase is cryptocurrency, according to a card user agreement posted last week. The agreement posts the following definition:
“Cash Advance and Cash Equivalents” means any cash advance and other cash-like transaction, including purchases of cash equivalents such as travelers checks, foreign currency, or cryptocurrency; money orders; peer to peer transfers, wire transfers or similar cash-like transactions; lottery tickets, casino gaming chips (whether physical or digital), or race track wagers or similar betting transactions.
Further into the document, the user agreement states:
You may not use your card for the following:
“Any illegal purpose, including in connection with unlawful domestic or international gambling websites or to purchase illegal goods or services; Cash Advances and Cash Equivalents; Any purpose in any country or territory that is subject to economic sanctions administered and enforced by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), or with any person or entity subject to these sanctions; or Paying any debts to us.”
The banning of crypto purchases by Apple/Goldman is not unique as many, if not most, traditional banks do the same. The concern surrounds the volatility of digital currencies which may move in either direction quite rapidly leaving one side or the other disappointed in the transaction.
While most pundits expect the Apple Card to be a foregone success, modern-day digital banks are offering similar type products which may, at some point in the not so distant future, give good old Apple a run for its digital money.