Apple on Tuesday began rolling out its new Apple Card credit card â€” a move meant to appeal to iPhone users while also expanding the market for the tech giantâ€™s growing services business.
The card, which was announced at a splashy event in March at the companyâ€™s headquarters in Cupertino, will be issued in conjunction with Goldman Sachs.
Not every iPhone user can get the virtual Apple Card right away. Apple initially is sending invitations to a random number of people who signed up online to be notified of the cardâ€™s release. The company estimates the Apple Card will see a widespread rollout by the end of this month.
Apple hopes that Apple Card will appeal to consumers who already make purchases using their iPhones and the companyâ€™s Apple Pay service. The company also is taking some unusual steps to appeal to consumers, such as offering 2% cash back on purchases using Apple Pay, no late-payment fees or penalties (interest will still accrue on unpaid balances), and an app that can be used for financial management.
In addition to providing consumers with an easier way to pay for things, Apple also hopes the card can help it make more money from its services business. During its fiscal third quarter, which ended in June, Apple reported services revenue of $11.46 billion, a gain of more than 12% from the same period a year ago.
Apple is also stressing the security of the Apple Card. Information on purchases is to be stored only on a personâ€™s iPhone; Apple says it is unable to see the purchase data, andÂ Goldman Sachs wonâ€™t be able use purchase information to market its own services or products to consumers.
While Apple is touting the digital status of the Apple Card, in that it resides on your phone and you can use it to pay for things like you would with Apple Pay or other digital payment platforms, the company is also offering an old-school physical Apple Card for customers who like to fill their wallets with plastic.
The physical Apple Card also wonâ€™t have its account number on the card, but it will store the number on a chip inside an iPhone. The phone will then create virtual numbers for purchases made online or over the phone.