Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Apple Card Lacks Web Interface, Sends Push Notifications

Nicole Nguyen:

Apple Card has an iPhone-only interface. If you lose said iPhone and need to make a payment, Apple’s recommendation is to use a second iOS device (eg. iPad) or call support (not, presumably, with the phone you just lost).

In other words, despite its titanium, futuristic-veneer Apple Card does not afford you what nearly every other credit card does: a website accessible on desktop that gives you the flexibility to pay bills or see transactions from any device.

Great, so you can’t export your data or view it on a large screen. And this will probably be like Apple’s other purchased/billing interfaces, where you can’t select and copy text and the searching is very basic, if there at all.

The Tape Drive:

Apple will target users for marketing emails and push notifications based on their transaction history. “For example, Apple may send a message to your device that is relevant to people who typically purchase travel.” Apple might have been able to negotiate reduced fees by agreeing to allow advertising to Apple Card users.

Via CM Harrington:

This is the kind of bullshit you get when you become a ‘services’ company… “We don’t allow marketing push notifications unless they’re our marketing push notifications”. No thanks, Tim Apple.


I WANT to have push notices for my transactions. I don’t want Apple to look at my transaction history and decide I should be marketed at OD is even creepier. it means there’s a daemon always watching my purchases for marketing opportunities.

Jon Alper:

Apparently the message is sent globally and then evaluated on device as to whether to delver to you based on what the device knows. Yes, sucks you can’t get notifications of transactions and not get marketing messages.

And receiving these marketing messages is going to use up cellular data, too.


Update (2019-08-15): Nick Heer:

Based on what I’m reading here, it sounds like Apple is sending push notification message text to all Apple Card users, but only displaying it if it’s relevant to a specific user. It’s a clever way of doing semi-targeted ads without violating users’ privacy.

I think that’s less relevant to users than whether they expect to receive ads in their email account and on their lock screen because they signed up for Apple’s credit card. The more nihilistic user might, but Apple is supposed to be the company that doesn’t point to some clause in their terms and conditions as a free pass to exploit users.


Apple’s solution is in agreement with the letter of these statements, but certainly not the spirit.

Daniel Storm:

PSA: Apple Search Ads are included in the 3% back on Apple Card 💰

Update (2019-08-19): See also: Accidental Tech Podcast.

Update (2019-08-20): John Gruber:

I don’t think the reason for this is to keep you locked to your iPhone, although that’s certainly a side effect. I think this simply reflects Apple’s internal culture. Apple’s culture is to make native apps for everything as a first priority, with web interfaces as a much lower priority. And in recent years, that’s shifted from native apps for iOS and Mac to just native apps for iOS. (E.g. the craptacular Catalyst apps for Stocks, News, Voice Memos, and most especially Home.) It feels ridiculous that you can’t access your Apple Card account from a Mac, whether from a native Mac app or from a website.

Update (2019-10-04): Despite the lack of a Web interface, I did get an e-mail notification about a PDF statement:

Your September statement is ready to view.

You can view your statement balance or pay your bill by tapping Apple Card in your Wallet App.

To view a PDF of your statement, tap Apple Card in your Wallet app, tap Total Balance, and tap the month.

Amber Neely:

Apple Card users who have checked their Apple Card PDF statements for September may notice that their statements are not itemized. While the Apple Card still shows itemized transactions within the Wallet app itself, the downloaded PDF currently shows a single monthly transaction, rather than an itemized list.

AppleInsider received a tip from a reader who noticed that their statements were not itemized. Staffers who own the Apple Card were able to recreate this problem upon checking their own statements.


“We are aware that some PDF billing statements are not showing transaction level detail. Transaction details in the Wallet app are correct,” said the Goldman Sachs representative. “The PDF Statements are being regenerated and will be available in Wallet later today.”

Juli Clover:

Things you can’t use Apple Card for: renting a car at enterprise.

Andrew Abernathy:

1. Went to pick up Redbox reservation but the box didn’t recognize me. Searching online, others say the issue is that the card # encoded on the card is different from the one shown in Wallet. (Chatted w/ Redbox; they cancelled.)

2. Yesterday an online transaction was rejected, forcing me to use different card. In case of suspected fraud, aren’t they supposed to send a notification? In my case they didn’t — fraud services called, left voicemail ~10 minutes later. (I don’t answer unrecognized numbers.)

Update (2020-07-03): Juli Clover:

Apple today launched a website that’s designed to allow Apple Card holders to check their balances, view statements, and make Apple Card payments online.

6 Comments RSS · Twitter

'Apple will target users for marketing emails and push notifications based on their transaction history. “For example, Apple may send a message to your device that is relevant to people who typically purchase travel.” Apple might have been able to negotiate reduced fees by agreeing to allow advertising to Apple Card users.'

After the Keynote insistence that no information is shared for marketing purposes - If this is true, it's the end of having trust in Apple.

I find it hard to believe Tim Cook / Apple would be so two-faced but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Wait, this is an Onion article, right?!!? Over and over and over, "We don't sell you to marketers". This is a very fine splitting of hairs.

[…] Apple Card Lacks Web Interface, Sends Push Notifications […]

As soon as Apple Card is offered in the EU, Apple will have to provide an export feature due to the GDPR.

(I am not sure why I would use Apple Card: Many domestic credit cards do not come with any usage fees for cardholders. And for transactions abroad and in foreign currencies, I can use Revolut or Transferwise. I have a domestic credit card and Revolut linked with Apple Pay anyway.)

No web interface, no sale.

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