Apple's services category recorded $17.5 billion in revenue last quarter, up 33% over a year ago. With huge growth, it's clear to see why the company is focused on this area of the business and has continued to unveil new services like Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Fitness+, and the Apple One bundle in recent years.
Of course, it's not just these obvious end-user subscription services that funnel revenue into Apple's services pot. The slice it takes from App Store purchases, Apple Care, and Apple Pay transactions all contribute to Apple's growing services numbers.
While that last one, Apple Pay, has expanded pretty rapidly across the globe with support from partner banks in various regions, Apple's credit card offering has yet to expand outside of Apple's home country. Launching in spring 2019, that's probably the longest a modern Apple product has gone with single-country availability.
Apple Card likely contributes just a small amount to Apple's bottom line currently, relatively speaking, though it is probably still a huge amount of money with over 6 million Apple Card users. With Apple taking a cut of every payment made using its credit card and charging interest on balances carried, the amount will stack up pretty quickly. With Apple reportedly already looking into the 'Buy Now, Pay Later' market with a rumored Apple Pay Later service, it's clear that this still is an area of intense focus for the company.
That begs the question, why is Apple Card not available in more places? Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that the company wants to bring Apple Card to more countries and we've seen trademarks registered in Canada as recently as this year, though there's still no word on when we can expect to see those shiny white cards outside of the States.
It may seem weird for someone to be pining for a credit card from a tech company and essentially asking them to come and take the money sitting on the table, but the simplicity of Apple Card's offering is something sorely missing from the credit industry.
While it may not have the best benefits, the easy-to-understand daily cash back, detailed spending tracking, and lack of an annual fee make it a good choice for those wanting to build a positive credit score while remaining in control. Heck, it would be nice to even have Apple Pay Cash to make it easy to send and receive money between friends.
In some other regions, there are alternatives to Apple Card. There are some great, forward-thinking challenger banks like Monzo who make great Apple Card alternatives in the UK, for example. They provide some of the same smart budgeting features for your bank account, though credit offerings are still less intuitive and the tight integration with the iPhone isn't there.
It's likely that regional red tape and the complexities of partner bank relationships are the major holdups for Apple Card in each region in the world, but the sooner Apple gets those sleek white cards into people's wallets (and Wallet apps), the sooner it can add a few more percentage points on its services growth chart.
Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.
I’m tired of hearing from armchair experts what Apple MUST DO to survive. When the author of this piece builds a $2 Trillion dollar company from scratch, then maybe I’ll pay attention. Otherwise this opinion piece is bull excrement.
The last paragraph is what I thought as I read the headline. What are the chances a credit card not based on a traditional bank is going to take some time to spread?
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