A few weeks ago, we commented on our Instagram that the Apple card It won't be Apple's first credit card.
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This week @Apple launched the Card, a perfect credit card to use with Pay. We've talked a lot about it there on the site, so it's worth going over there. What you probably do not know is that many years ago @apple had already launched credit cards for its customers (one focused on the home market and the other on the corporate one). And what does it look like on the Card, with a very clean look? In the end, the company changed the design of the card all white, adopting a black stripe in the lower half and centralizing the logo and of course there are people selling this rarity on @ebay. When exactly these cards were discontinued, it is hard to say. But it's proof of how the world goes around. 😝 (via @cultofmac)
The company had already launched into such a venture in the 1990s, but with a solution focused primarily on the corporate market that never gained much traction and at a time when Steve Jobs was not in the company, remember.
What about the fact, then, that the co-founder of Ma himself also thought of releasing a company credit card, much more like the Apple Card we have today, 15 years ago? According to former Apple creative director Ken Segall, that is exactly what happened.
According to the professional, the idea of an Apple Card (yes, that was the name) was running in Cupertino in 2004, which would be deeply linked to iTunes and then iPods, Ma's most lucrative products. would win IPoints according to card spending and could exchange these points for music on the iTunes Store, almost like a rudimentary version of cashback offered by the Apple Card today.
Everything went so far that Ma's creative team even created some advertising concepts. The idea was to link everyday products with famous bands in phrases like “buy balloons, get a zeppelin” (Led Zeppelin) or “buy a lipstick , get a kiss ”(Kiss).
The old Apple Card, however, did not see the light of day because Ma did not reach an agreement with Mastercard, which would be the card operator, regarding the terms and conditions of the service. Interestingly (or not), 15 years later, Mastercard is the real and palpable Apple Card operator that is already being distributed to the first platform customers in the United States.
Apple Pro Card
Segall noted in his post that this was not Steve Jobs' only initiative in the area of credit cards: in the early months of Apple Stores, the company even offered a card called Apple Pro Card which for $ 100 a year offered some benefits to store customers.
Unfortunately, those benefits weren't all that seductive: free transfer of user files to a new Power Mac G5, Apple Store “Pro Day” with 10% software and free installation discounts, guaranteed Genius Bar schedules for the day the following and the advance notice of future offers. Perhaps that is why very few people became interested in the offer and the card was quickly forgotten.
Anyway, a good memory: Apple's flirting with the ancient financial world. It's good that now, so many years later, the company is finding the right path in the segment on the other hand, it's a shame that Jobs is no longer here to see it all.