Surprisingly high interest in Apple Card, as other cards likely to follow Apple’s security lead

Of all the things Apple announced at this week’s event, it seems to be the Apple Card that’s generating the greatest amount of interest.

Kyle Seth Gray noticed that Apple’s video on the card (below) has racked up 15 million views in less than two days …

The Apple Card video already has 15 million views on YouTube.

Which passes the iPhone XR video and iPad Pro video from months ago, and puts it just 10 million behind the iPhone XS/XR video. It’s now sitting at Apple’s 7th most popular video on YouTube.

This number may partly reflect an increasing ad spend by Apple, to drive traffic to its videos, but it’s still an impressive metric.

In our poll, asking what most interested you from the event, the card was way out in front, getting 53% of votes compared to 26% for TV and 10% each for games and news.

It’s all the more surprising given that card industry experts say that the cash-back deal is nothing special, with existing cards matching or bettering Apple’s terms.

Citi Double Cash is a very simple, easy-to-use 2% cash back card. And that’s on everything (not just Apple Pay purchases). If you want to maximize Apple Pay, the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite card gives 3 points per dollar on mobile wallet spending (worth 3% cash back or 4.5% off travel). That’s really interesting: U.S. Bank offers better Apple Pay rewards than Apple.

That goes for the interest rates too. Apple touted them as lower than average, but not everyone agrees.

The Apple Card web page says: “Variable APRs range from 13.24% to 24.24% based on creditworthiness. Rates as of March 2019.” What a crock of shit this “low interest rates” line is. Those interest rates are usury, right in line with the rest of the credit card industry. 24% interest ought to be criminal, and 13% is not “low”.

The easy-to-use analysis tools in the app are likely to be part of the appeal. But another winning element is probably the aesthetic appeal of the minimalist physical card, with no credit card number. Given that we have to carry these things – not all transactions can be done electronically – it might as well be beautiful.

But even that may not be unique for long. MasterCard says other banks are likely to follow Apple’s lead, reports Bloomberg.

[Apple] could encourage other banks to also ditch the static number in favor of more secure limited-use numbers, said Craig Vosburg, president of North America for Mastercard.

“We want security to be at the highest level possible across the ecosystem, and we want to do that in ways that don’t introduce friction and make payments inconvenient for consumers,” Vosburg said in an interview Tuesday with Bloomberg Television.

What’s the most appealing thing about the Apple Card for you? Let us know in the comments.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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