We recently offered our take on the introduction of the Apple credit card.
Just the other day I decided to apply for the card, and the process was a bit mind-blowing. I wished I had timed the process, but it could not have taken more than 30 seconds. In half a minute I had my Apple card linked to my Apple Pay on my phone.
Maybe that isn’t that amazing and yes, it will be a few days before I can flash the physical titanium card around. But what struck me is that Apple totally gets the notion of speed and simplicity. This is one more example of Apple showcasing its intense focus on eliminating as much friction as possible.
Given this is Apple, the card’s launch has gotten tons of media attention. This CNBC note suggests that the credit card isn’t a push into financial services but rather another tactic to superglue iPhone users to the company.
By making the integration with the phone so tight and frictionless, consumers using the card will have to use their phones to monitor the balance and make payments. Yes, one more among a host of reasons to not just use that iPhone X, but the XI and XII and beyond.
Alright. They nailed it in terms of immediacy. Maybe not so much in terms of transparency.
According to this CNBC report, there is some fine print (Have you ever read any of Apple’s fine print?) in the agreement relating to arbitration.
According to the CNBC report, in the event of a dispute with Apple or its backer Goldman Sachs, the user could forfeit their right to sue either company. In the fine print, it does say, “You hereby knowingly and voluntarily WAIVE THE RIGHT TO BE HEARD IN COURT OR HAVE A JURY TRIAL on all Claims subject to this Agreement.” The capitalization is theirs, not ours.
In this age of the Internet, it seems odd that a company like Apple would include this kind of provision and wonder if the consumer will read the fine print. Now I am not a lawyer so I am not really sure what the consequences are for the consumer, but CNBC thinks it is a bad consumer provision. And this provision is the default provision, put into force upon approval of the card.
But alas, Apple does make it almost as easy to opt-out of this clause as it is to apply for the card. I followed the instructions in the CNBC article and within maybe 45 seconds Goldman Sachs had changed it for me from agreeing to arbitration to declining arbitration. Pretty amazing how quickly this transpired.
Almost everything Apple does is remarkable. Yet we do learn that the titanium card that I cannot wait to receive in the mail has some limitations. For instance, it can be easily scratched, it can easily get demagnetized, it can change colors if you put it in your jeans. This funny little piece in Macworld points out some other ways you can keep your new Apple card as shiny and new as the day it arrived.