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The end of March 2019 saw Apple announce its Apple Card, a credit card designed to work with the iPhone. The card offers users simple cashback rewards and has no late fees or penalty charges. For iPhone users, Apple Card allows users to view location data for their transactions, and offers weekly and monthly summaries and analysis of spending patterns. However, Apple announced that it will not have access to users’ transaction histories, while card issuer Goldman Sachs has pledged to not sell said data to third parties. Furthermore, because it is designed to be used with the Apple Pay app the physical card has no number or CVV on it, to prevent someone capturing that data.

So much analysis has surrounded the Apple Card announcement: from the card’s industry-challenging security and privacy features, Apple’s big shift from hardware to services, and more. But there’s another insight that we want to focus on here: what Apple Card tells any innovator wanting to change legacy consumer behavior.

We know mobile payments are going to be big. Just look at Asia: nearly 80% of Chinese smartphone users use mobile payments, compared with only 20% in the US. This rapid adoption has been possible because few Chinese consumers had credit cards, instead leapfrogging straight to mobile payments. Compare this with the US, where 34% of people have three or more credit cards!  

Apple Card bridges the gap between the fully virtual and the physical world, helping to guide consumers through this transition. On one hand it’s an almost 1980s-era status symbol. On the other hand, the card’s reward structure – of double the cash back for paying via the Apple Pay app – incentivises people to keep the card firmly in their wallets and embrace the new digital era!

Similarly, witness Burger King’s upcoming launch of the Impossible Whopper. Interestingly, the chain isn’t launching the plant-based burger as a vegan burger. It will just be a Whopper that happens to be meat-free. Our takeaway? If you are aiming to change people’s behavior at a mass scale, consider how you might bring the new as close as possible to the old.