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August 7, 2019

Apple Card Poised for Success with Brand Loyalists and May Increase Apple Pay Usage

(New York, NY): Apple’s new credit card will be released later this summer and is well-positioned to capture the attention of Apple’s existing shoppers and Pay users, according to a study by Auriemma Research. The card appears designed with Apple enthusiasts in mind and may encourage the use of Apple Pay.

Although the Apple card has not yet been released, it is already well-liked by Apple Pay users. Three-quarters of them are attracted to the card’s offer, which includes a strong incentive for using Apple Pay at the point-of-sale. Cardholders earn 3% cash back on all Apple purchases, 2% for using Apple Pay, and 1% for using the physical card. Unlike most rewards cards, Apple’s rewards will be available automatically, deposited on an Apple Cash card daily or applied as a statement credit with no activation or redemption necessary.

“In the past, any uncertainty or issues using mobile payments often led consumers to fall back to the plastic card to avoid friction at the point-of-sale,” says Jaclyn Holmes, Director of Auriemma Research. “Shoppers now have reason to ask the cashier if Apple Pay is accepted in order to maximize the rewards they’ll earn on the purchase.”

Cash back won’t be the only thing encouraging Apple cardholders into Apple Pay. The digital card will be stored in the Wallet app, along with accompanying tools and features (e.g., sophisticated spend analyzers, transparent payment calculators). Because of this integration, Apple cardholders’ familiarity with the Wallet app (and Apple Pay) should increase.

Apple’s titanium card is different from others on the market, featuring a sleek and numberless display and a redesigned EMV chip. But even Apple’s physical card softly promotes Apple Pay usage. Those who want to make contactless payments will need to use their phone, since the physical card is not expected to support contactless technology.

“The Apple card appears to be another way to get brand loyalists interested in Apple Pay,” says Holmes. “While we shouldn’t expect swaths of non-Apple users to buy an iPhone so they can use an Apple card, we can expect increased engagement among those who already own one.”

Apple Pay users are already abuzz about the offer, according to Auriemma’s study. About half of Apple Pay users have heard about the card, an extremely high proportion considering the card has not yet launched. Awareness for the card is also notable (27%) when looking broadly at all consumers eligible for mobile payments.

Apple’s announcements often garner significant media attention, but these high levels of awareness are impressive for payments. An introductory video for the Apple card uploaded in tandem with the late-March announcement has racked up 17.5 million views as of August 2019, over ten times the number of views for similar videos for other cards.

Interest in Apple’s new credit card also spans beyond brand loyalists. Three-quarters of Apple Pay users are attracted to the Apple card, but so are 60% of eligible non-users. Those who are not attracted to the card most often say it is because they don’t make frequent Apple purchases or they don’t use Apple Pay much/at all. A notable proportion also mention that the rewards were unappealing, citing better rewards with existing cards or cash back percentages being too low.

The interest among non-users represents an opportunity for Apple to increase its Pay user base after over four years of stagnant growth. And between the cash back offer, the integration with Apple Pay, and the contactless technology only being available with the phone, it appears the Apple card is well-positioned to do just that.

“While the Apple card may have an impact on Apple Pay usage, its reception will likely impact other card products and comfort with mobile payments generally,” says Holmes. “Many payment professionals are already thinking about how cardholder expectations for the digital experience may shift in response.”

Survey Methodology

This Auriemma Research study was conducted online within the US by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma Group (Auriemma) between April-May 2019, among 2,029 mobile pay eligible consumers. Respondents were screened to own an eligible smartphone or wearable device. All respondents also have a general purpose credit card in their own name.

About Auriemma Group

For more than 30 years, Auriemma’s mission has been to empower clients with authoritative data and actionable insights. Our team comprises recognized experts in four primary areas: operational effectiveness, consumer research, co-brand partnerships, and corporate finance. Our business intelligence and advisory services give clients access to the data, expertise and tools they need to navigate an increasingly complex environment and maximize their performance. Auriemma serves the consumer financial services ecosystem from our offices in New York City and London. For more information, call Jaclyn Holmes at (212) 323-7000.