Apple Card doesn't 'reinvent the wheel,' but it does cut friction

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The need to “remove friction” has become a bit of a payments buzzword in recent years – from digital to physical solutions.

At the heart of it, what it really comes down to is how payment providers and financial institutions can optimize the customer experience – removing friction means making it more intuitive, more personal, and more straightforward than ever before.

Over the past few months, we’ve seen continued innovation in the space with the announcement of the Apple Card, a direct response to the rise of digital payments and increased user adoption. The Apple Card was created as the ultimate consumer payments card, and it’s a case study in the making.

It’s important to note that Apple isn’t reinventing the wheel with its shiny new metal. In fact, many parts and elements of the Apple Card are the same as other major players and their respective banking apps (from visualizing transactions to showing balances, payments, etc.).
What’s “revolutionary” is offering one localized place to intelligently manage and track spending (eventually changing behaviors in turn), while also providing consumers insight into payment scenarios and planning. Apple is addressing consumer demands and pain points head-on, with the overall goal of making consumers’ lives easier.

From detailed transaction breakdowns and categorization, to seemingly effortless mobile payment processes, if successful, the Apple Card could emerge as the darling of the payments world. But more importantly, it sheds light on how banks and financial institutions are increasingly rethinking their technology and processes from both a physical and digital perspective – driving value to the consumer by establishing new partnerships and integrations with technology providers, non-traditional players, and even competitors.

Apple partnered with Mastercard and Goldman Sachs to deliver on the promise of the Apple Card. But across payments, we’ve seen the entrance of new providers, such as Payveris, who provide an open platform for payment integration and money movement, making it easier for FI’s to streamline applications and interface with different payment services, in turn benefiting the consumer.

Payment companies such as Mastercard are beginning to focus more on the convergence of physical and digital experiences with the emergence of cardless cash withdrawals across the ATM network. The evolution continues with organizations partnering to deliver “click and collect” transactions, such as merchant transactions, where consumers can initiate a transaction via a digital channel, but complete that transaction in the physical world, making the overall experience more efficient and seamless.

When it comes to payments, it’s still very much about facilitating transactions, but it’s also about doing so in a meaningful and relevant way while driving increased customer engagement and value for the consumer. Does the new functionality solve a true customer need? Does a particular integration cut down wait time? Does a particular design increase engagement? If our industry can achieve in its payment solutions what the Apple Card was created to do on the personal finance and payment management front for consumers, we’ll be setting ourselves up for success.

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