Credit cards

The Apple Card, like checks and Venmo, fails the instant payments test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

An ideal payment mechanism should do 2 things: It should take place in real time, and it should clear at par.

That's how cash works. If you give me $50 in cash, then I immediately become $50 richer, and you immediately become $50 poorer.

Apple Cards begin to arrive in customers' phones and hands

An iPhone owner using Apple Card to make a payment. Photo: Apple
An iPhone owner using Apple Card to make a payment. Photo: Apple

Apple today begins processing the first applications from consumers to get the new Apple Card, the credit card it is debuting in conjunction with Goldman Sachs.

Why it matters: It's part of a broader push into services from Apple, but also puts the company in direct competition with the banks and credit cards already part of Apple Pay.