The Apple Card is officially available to the public and it arouses great interest. While the rewards for the new credit card are not a great feature, there are many aspects that make it a compelling choice, including instant sign-up and approval process, privacy and security focus, Apple-designed budgeting software, titan cards, no fees and more. I'm ready to get one myself, but there are a few things that keep me going and probably others who share finances with their spouse or partner.
As you've probably heard by now, Apple doesn't offer the option of getting an additional Apple card for another user. If you are in a relationship, it means that both you and your significant other have to fill out separate Apple Card applications on your iPhone or iPad, which, if approved, will be bound to your Apple ID.
So far this may not be a problem for many couples, but having separate accounts is not the only complication. Apple Card offers a great software experience for budgeting and paying the bill, but you can't access that software anywhere outside of your iPhone or iPad. And there is no way to export your Apple Card data (for now at least) to third-party budgeting software and other financial apps that you can with almost any other credit card (except for basic PDF export). I'm sure this has to do with security and privacy, but seems like a solvable problem. An Apple Card app may be in the works that can give couples more visibility in two separate accounts, but for now this is a remarkable limit.
For couples who like to share an account and at the same time have separate individual accounts, the Apple Card may still make sense right now. But those who like to share all their accounts like me and my wife probably feel that the Apple Card is not an option.
Specifically, my wife and I have another unique problem that I would guess a much smaller subset of Apple users encounter. We choose to share our primary Apple ID so we can have one photo library to manage instead of two (not possible with family sharing) and then use separate IDs for iMessage and FaceTime. I have written about this before and would like to see a separate login option especially for pictures. But in any case, this makes the Apple Card even more of a challenge since there doesn't seem to be a way to use a different Apple ID than your primary account on iPhone or iPad when signing up for a credit card. This means that only one of us can sign up for the Apple Card.
Apple Card Enhancements for Sharing Economies
With Apple's focus on security and privacy for Apple Card, you believe the likelihood of the option for an additional card holder may come before that allows users to export their financial data and integrate them with third-party software. Sure, having two cards in one account instead of one is more risk and responsibility, but Apple has already found the logistics on Goldman Sachs and its side. When it comes to users, it would be easy to have another switch to lock the secondary card just like the primary one in the Wallet app.
(There is probably also a huge group of teenagers who would love to get an Apple card as a secondary user in their parents account.)
Although I think exported Apple Card data beyond PDFs probably come after the multi-user option (if at all), I think that's an important thing for Apple to do. Many users will include Apple Card data with their other financial accounts to see the big picture. On the other hand, a larger number of Apple Card users (or potential users) may want the export option to affect both individuals and couples, so there may be a chance that Apple is working to make it available soon for more users.
A partial or temporary solution may be an Apple Card iOS app that allows users to share data with their partner or spouse. This could be a way for Apple to maintain its security and privacy focus by offering cross-account visibility, but keeping it within the scope of its own app rather than involving third-party apps.
What do you think? Want to become an Apple Card user but want to wait for the ability to export data and / or the ability to add an additional user? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news: