On Monday, Apple revealed its Apple card, the company's boldest move than becoming a really common mobile payment company. And the product has great consequences for our extended reality, some of which may not be directly apparent to many.
First a small background. While Apple Pay has been around for some time and has managed to sneak a lot of users, it's still not as ubiquitous as one might expect for a product created by the iPhone. The Apple card can change all this.
No matter how many new technologies come, people are still largely common creatures. So if you really want to reach the masses, it helps to give them something familiar. That's why so many AR enthusiasts are beating AR smartglasses, because they know that AR via glasses becomes a much easier sale for regular users than AR via an iPhone or a "mixed reality" helmet. Similarly, the introduction of the Apple card, through pure consumer knowledge with form and dynamics, is likely to ultimately give Apple the usual payment presence it has been working for years to achieve.
"A new type of credit card. Created by Apple, not a bank." Translation: Banks are bad.
Although the campaign video (at the bottom of this page) spends mostly the ability to use the card through your iPhone for Apple Pay, it is when the video reveals the titanium laser etched credit card that Apple's plans become even more obvious and more attractive, from a marketing perspective.
In short, the company wants to replace your bank. That intent is also spelled out on Apple's website, where the company says "A new type of credit card. Created by Apple, not a bank".
"Not a bank". Translation: We want you to ditch your bank.
But what does that mean? Well, it is obvious to anyone who follows the news – Apple sells trust and integrity. Considering the many confidentiality and data scandals that have plagued both banks and competing technology companies in recent years, users are increasingly looking for the option that is both comfortable and reliable. The banks stopped being practical long ago, and the idea that your data is safe with traditional banks with slow adopt-best-technology practices is optimistic, at best.
Apple's well-paid reputation as a guardian of trust and integrity (Apple CEO Tim Cook puts almost everything on the line beating the FBI's request to break into a user's phone) is now literally recovered.
So what does all this have to do with AR? All. Apple glasses come. With that in mind, let's review the company's approach to Apple's first Apple Watch, which was quickly integrated into the Apple Pay ecosystem.
Apple Pay via Apple Watch is pretty slim, but how often have you actually seen someone at a store paying with their Apple Watch? Despite the dynamics of convenience, it is relatively rare to see such a view on your local corner business. Embedding Apple Payments power in a pair of fashionable Apple AR smart glasses, aka Apple Glasses, could instantly be more seamless than using an Apple Watch to pay.
Of course, the crane to pay the option wouldn't work, but what about paying for something at the local store was as easy as looking at it? Or looking at it and knocking on the side of your glasses? That's the kind of physical interaction Apple has already become accustomed to using on iPhone X – check your phone to pay for or approve an app via Face ID. Remember that the tag line Apple used in a new Apple Pay advertising was "pay with a glance" (see video above). It is unclear how the Face ID dynamics can, from a technical and logistical perspective, move to a pair of glasses, but these words are still a clue in the future.
In this regard, Apple's introduction of a physical credit card is neither innovative nor particularly easy. If you are interested in the free, app-centered user-friendliness provided by the new Apple card, you will probably already use the Square account card. But there are two things that Apple does better than Square and most banks: Mobile payment trust, customer service (love you, Square, but it's true) and consumer goods. To be obvious, Square has gained a lot of confidence, but it's nothing like the trust that consumers have given Apple to protect the many secrets on their smartphones.
Apple introduces an Apple card and markets its mobile payment service and its ability to faithfully steward your money, integrity intact.
However, many banks today are silent data minus your account activity, collect information about where you usually shop, what banknotes you usually pay and what your weekly expenses are. And it's not even shady business, everything happens in the open.
For example, if you use Citibank mobile app, you see your shopping habits comfortably (if not neat) listed monthly, even if you don't want these purchases tracked. For a tiny number of Apple customers, trusting that sensitive data with Apple would be much better than trusting it with a bank.
Of course, we still don't know how the relationship with Apple will work with its partners MasterCard and Goldman Sachs, but even without all the details, Apple has earned a lot of "benefit from the doubt" trust with its users.
It is this kind of trust that will be crucial when many of us go around with different brands of AR smart glasses that may or may not register our site, what we usually look at (a concern in VR has recently, was raised by the founder of Oculus, a company working with AR smartglasses) and most importantly, what our expenses are. When the combination of 5G and AR cloud technology becomes linchpins for our mobile experiences – something that is probably only 24 months away, the primary sales tool, in addition to good tech, will be trust.
Today, by taking a direct shot at banks, Apple prepares the public to buy into that trust party.
Would you trust that Facebook puts a camera on your face all day (with claims of no access to camera data) while silently tracking your purchases in the background? How about your favorite commercial bank? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, I would suggest you do a little more more reading.
And while Apple is not perfect, it will likely have a great deal of privacy related to Apple Pay and Apple Card Somehow, among the options available for trust in mobile payments, Apple seems to be leading this time.
Think about these points when you start shopping for your AR smartglasses over the next 24 months, as the integrity and confidence of the AR cloud will be much more important than almost any other feature you will encounter. And for all non-Apple portable companies out there, you now have your mission: focus on trust.