Apple’s revolutionary new credit card is still on track to launch this summer, but despite this week’s release of iOS 12.4 in preparation for the new Apple Card, it looks like we’ll still have to wait just a little bit longer before it’s ready for prime time.
According to a new report by Bloomberg, the Apple Card is currently being targeted to launch in the first half of August, according to a person familiar with the plans, although there’s still no specific date, which suggests that some final details are still being ironed out.
Most interestingly, it looks like users will be able to apply for the slick new titanium card directly from the Wallet app in iOS 12.4 — another way in which the new card is breaking new ground in technology while also tying very tightly into Apple’s ecosystem.
While the report isn’t clear, this presumably means that once approval is granted — which could conceivably happen instantly in many cases — users would be able to immediately start using the card via Apple Pay. Apple has already stated that users will be able to have their virtual card available while waiting for the physical titanium card to arrive in the mail, but integrating the entire application procedure into the Wallet app sounds like it’s going to make the process even more seamless and magical. It’s Apple’s intent that the card be used primarily via Apple Pay anyway, and the physical card is primarily a concession to the fact that Apple Pay isn’t as ubiquitous as we’d all like it to be yet.
Apple and Goldman Working Behind the Scenes
The Bloomberg report also provides some insights into the productive but sometimes tumultuous relationship between Apple and Goldman Sachs as they worked together to bring the Apple Card to market.
Both companies have compatible but differing goals for creating this new high-tech credit card; Apple is simply looking for another way to bolster its recurring revenue services business, while Goldman is hoping to reinvent itself from being a stodgy Wall Street Investment bank to a more hip and consumer-facing business.
While Apple took on most of the technology and design responsibilities for the new card — the sleek titanium look has Apple’s design ethos written all over it — Goldman will be handling all of the underlying infrastructure, which includes not only payment processing but also customer service, payment disputes, transaction data, and monthly statements. For all intents and purposes, it sounds like the customer’s actual financial relationship will be with Goldman, not Apple, although it remains to be seen what this will look like to banks and credit bureaus.
Goldman has also thrown quite a bit of muscle behind the project, with “dozens of employees” dedicated to the Apple Card in its Manhattan headquarters and various satellite offices, including Apple-specific customer service teams. Apple is simply managing the project under its already-existing Apple Pay and Wallet app teams.
It hasn’t all been happy trails, however, with the report noting that following the announcement of the Apple Card, Apple and Goldman had at least one disagreement about the underlying technology that would be used to power the card, putting pressure on Goldman Sachs staff to revise some of the “card’s mechanics.” While details are unclear, it hasn’t seemed to significantly derail the card’s progress, meaning it’s still expected to meet its promised summer release.
In fact, the Apple Card is already technically out there and being used; Apple began issuing it to corporate employees back in May, and expanded that to employees in its U.S. retail stores last month, allowing anybody who works for Apple in the U.S. to apply for the new card. At this point, it seems that the only thing holding back a full public release are ensuring that both companies will be able to scale their systems for the millions of applications that they’ll undoubtedly receive once they open the floodgates.