Word on the streets is that Apple plans to introduce its own credit card. Why not? Apple can afford to buy a few credit card-issuing banks but just slapping the Apple logo onto a bank credit card is not enough.
Credit cards are a dime a dozen. Maybe even less expensive than that. Almost anyone can get a credit card, so what would an Apple branded credit card to for the company’s 1-billion or so customers?
I’m game for an Apple credit card but only if it offers something more than just, well, credit. I have plenty of those kinds of credit cards already. One more won’t hurt, but it needs to do more to make it worth my while.
Look, Apple seems to have given up on growing the customer base with new and insanely great products, so the company relies on a billion customers to sell new products to– Watch, AirPods, Beats headphones, AppleCare, Apple Music, Watch bands, iPhone and iPad cases and keyboards. You get the idea.
Services and accessories are big business. What about a credit card? What could an Apple credit card do that my current bank-issused Visa or MasterCard does not?
Insurance – AppleCare could be expanded to include insurance that covers breakage and theft. Yes, you can get a measure of that in AppleCare but what better way to pay than an Apple-branded credit card.
Protection – This is different than insurance for hardware. Some of us pay have credit cards that offer extra security and protection– for the credit card. We live in a wicked world where stealing and hacking are the norm, so a protection plan for credit cards would be a good add-on.
Rebates – Many of Apple’s one billion customers own multiple Apple products, and what better way to keep us in the ecosystem than rebates on purchases. Big box retail stores have them. Credit card companies have them. An Apple credit card that provides rewards for purchase amounts is a big plus.
Lease Or Rent – This is one of my favorite ideas. I would upgrade more Apple kit more frequently if I could find a good way to recycle– as in, sell to someone else– last year’s gear. Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program sets the standard. Build that kind of upgrade program into an Apple credit card plan for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Watch, et al, and I’m good to go for more products instead of waiting around for a few years to upgrade.
Subscriptions – The app subscription model is all the rage, but getting a discount by using an Apple credit card to make payments to the various App Stores might get me to subscribe to more applications.
MoneyKit – Apple has HealthKit and HomeKit, so why not MoneyKit; a built-in application that can track your money for you, including credit card expenses.
An Apple credit card must be more than just an Apple brand or logo slapped onto a Goldman Sachs credit card. Differentiation is a key component of product marketing, right? If so, and it is, Apple needs to have something special in the iCard.