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Apple Card was announced at Apple’s March Event with a solid cash back program and some of the best card and money management tools in the industry. Like almost every new Apple product in the last few years, people can’t help but wonder if Steve Jobs would have been a part of the creation and launch of Apple Card. While it may at first seem like something you would never expect, don’t think so fast! According to a blog post from a former Apple executive, Steve Jobs not only worked on an Apple branded credit card, but came incredibly close to releasing it in 2004.
Ken Segall, Apple’s former Creative Director, posted on his blog about how Steve Jobs worked on the idea of an Apple credit card almost 15 years before Tim Cook announced it on stage. So, what was the credit card that Steve worked on all about? One simple thing: iTunes. The idea was simple: spend money, get free music. Customers of the credit card would earn “iPoints” on every purchase, whether it be at Apple or any other merchant, that could be redeemed for free music on iTunes. The idea got so close that Apple’s creative team even put together a campaign to introduce Apple Card to the world.
The whole project eventually hit a wall. According to Segall, Jobs was working with Mastercard to bring Apple Card to the market but, after failing to reach an agreement on the terms that Apple was looking for in the partnership, the entire thing was shelved. Over the years, Apple has partnered with credit card companies like Barclays to give its customers the ability to finance their purchases at the Apple Store, but hasn’t dreamed something as ambitious as its original idea, until now.
It’s always nice to know that Steve Jobs still had a hand in something that is just getting announced now, as different as the end product may be from the original concept. Apple Card is setting itself up as another bold move from Apple to change an antiquated industry long overdue for innovation. It’s a card built completely for the where the future of the financial industry is heading, and hopes to play a part in paving the way towards that future. After 15 years in the dark, we’re all finally going to get to see what Apple Card is capable of.