What Apple Card Means for Subscription and Membership Businesses

Credit card CEOs may be anxious about Apple Card, but it doesn't mean membership or subscription-based entrepreneurs should be too.
Written by: Tara Horstmeyer

With the news of Apple Card poised to take on the credit card industry this summer, what exactly does this mean for subscription and membership businesses with recurring payments?

The good news is — not a lot.

Before we dive into that, let’s first learn more about Apple Card.

apple card app

What is Apple Card?

Apple Card is a credit card created by Apple and, most notably, not created by a bank, although it is backed by newcomer Goldman Sachs.

It builds upon the Apple Pay movement in that it touts simplicity, ease of use and security.

It also is claiming to be the first credit card that will encourage users to pay less interest by giving the user visibility into interest based on what the user desires to pay.

Is Apple Card a Physical Credit Card?

Well, yes. It is a physical card, but it’s that and more, especially as it is meant to be used in two ways:‍

Option 1: Similar to other payment methods, Apple Card will live in the Wallet app on your iPhone and allow you to buy things via Apple Pay.

Option 2: For those places you can’t use Apple Pay, you can still use the Apple‑designed, titanium physical card. (Bonus: It looks amazing, too.) And because Mastercard is Apple’s global payment network, users can make purchases all over the world.

apple card size

Perks of Apple Card

A. Daily Cash Back

Similar to major credit cards’ Cash Back programs, for every purchase you make with Apple Card, you will get “Daily Cash” that you can spend however you want. Bonus? You can spend it right here, right now. And yes, we have to assume that includes your customers’ recurring payments made with Apple Card via Apple Pay.

credit card statistics

From apple.com:

“When you buy something using Apple Card, you get a percentage of your purchase back in Daily Cash. Not a month from now, but every day. There’s no limit to how much you can get. And it goes right onto your Apple Cash card, so you can use it just like cash. Order some sneakers. Or send it to your bank account. Or put it toward your Apple Card bill. Or pay a friend back for brunch, right in Messages. Only iPhone gives you that flexibility.”

B. Visibility

Have you ever used an app like Mint (mint.com)? The best part of platforms like that is the visibility they provide into your spending habits and financial history with a visual dashboard. This dashboard will provide a snapshot of your spending and provide insight into where your money is going, giving users information they may otherwise ignore.

C. Fees

Unlike many credit cards in the industry, Apple promises to make it easier for you to pay down your credit card balance, so it is not carrying any fees — including no annual fees, cash‑advance fees, over-the-limit fees, or late fees.

D. Security

Last but not least, Apple is leaning into its advanced security technologies of Apple Pay, including its latest hit with Face ID, which are built into Apple Card as well. Worried about losing the physical titanium card you’ve been issued? Have no fear: The card itself has no numbers, supporting an even higher layer of protection.

apple card features
Via ZDnet

4 Tips for How Subscription and Membership-Based Businesses Should Handle the Apple Card News

Now that you are armed with everything you need to know to stay abreast of this summer’s Apple Card release, what should you do if you are a subscription- or membership-based business with recurring payments? Here are four big takeaways to get you started:‍

1. Stay In the Know

Keeping up on current trends like this position you to be the thought leader in your specific niche and customer base. If you are wondering how this will affect your business — so are your customers. (Gravy Biscuit Points: You are doing just that by reading this article!)

2. Be Encouraged: Credit Cards are Here to Stay

Simply stated: Credit cards are GREAT for businesses in the recurring revenue space. So, when a global powerhouse like Apple decides it wants skin in the game, it sends the message that businesses backed by credit cards — in particular membership sites, online courses, SaaS companies and box companies — are here to stay and, in fact, grow as the buying power of a new generation of card holders grows.

3. How Does Your Tech Stack Up?

To stay ahead of the curve — and your customers’ questions — it’s a good idea to do a quick diagnostic screening and health checkup on your tech stack and especially your payment processors to make sure they will support Apple Card once it’s released. Stripe, for example, currently supports Apple Pay, but if you work in other processors such as PayPal, Infusionsoft and Teachable Payments, the next step would be to do some due diligence and make sure your tech stacks up.

apple pay
Via Stripe

4. Let Us Be Your Trusted Resource

As industry standards change and technology moves at the speed of lightning, it’s important to lean into an organization of thought leaders in the recurring revenue space such as Gravy.

Our team works day in and day out to recover customers and payments for businesses with recurring revenue — and in doing so, has amassed countless learnings and insights that can help you and your business.

Click the button below to book a conversation with us today, and let’s have a chat about how Gravy can partner with you to retain customers and protect your bottom line against failed payments.

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