Apple Card to Allow Some Users to Skip March Payments Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

It has been a historic week in the United States as the country attempts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. Beyond the health risks that this virus presents, the pandemic has also had an impact on the U.S. economy as several businesses are being forced to closed or have events canceled. In a bid to help those financially struggling due to the outbreak, Apple has informed Apple Card customers that they may be able to offer some relief.

An e-mail sent to Apple Card users on Saturday invited them to join the Customer Assistance Program. Those who enroll will be able to skip their March payment without incurring interest charges. Apple says that those who apply should receive confirmation in a few days, with no further actions being required after that.

In their message about the Customer Assistance Program, the company explained, “We understand that the rapidly-evolving COVID-19 situation poses unique challenges for everyone and some customers may have difficulty making their monthly payments. Apple Card is committed to helping you lead a healthier financial life.”

Although Apple and Goldman Sachs (who issues the Apple Card) have been the most direct with what their Customer Assistance Program will currently entail, other credit card issuers have also said that customers who need assistance may be able to seek relief. For example a note on Capital One’s site says, “Capital One is here to help, and we encourage customers who may be impacted or need assistance to reach out to discuss and find a solution for you. Should you find yourself in need of assistance, please contact us.” Meanwhile a banner on Barclaycard’s site reads, “To our customers impacted by the COVID-19 ‘coronavirus,’ we’re here to help if you need assistance with your account.”

The move by Apple does support what the company has boasted about the offering from the beginning: a credit card created by Apple, not a bank — implying a friendlier finance experience. Furthermore, at the time that the card was originally announced, Apple’s VP of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey said. “Apple Card is designed to help customers lead a healthier financial life, which starts with a better understanding of their spending so they can make smarter choices with their money, transparency to help them understand how much it will cost if they want to pay over time and ways to help them pay down their balance.” It’s also worth noting that, to the surprise of many, some subprime applicants found themselves getting approved for the Apple Card. That said, the product has not been without some controversy and calls of unfairness, such as accusations that Apple and Goldman’s approval algorithm was sexist, awarding larger credit limits to males than females.

In this unprecedented time, it’s nice to see that Apple and partner Goldman Sachs are making efforts to work with their customers and help them through their troubles. It’s also encouraging to see other issuers doing the same — although to what extent is unclear. Hopefully these programs will give Americans impacted by the current crisis one less thing to worry about as we attempt to make it to the other side of the global event.

Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

Other Articles by Jonathan Dyer

Amex Launches Digital B2B Payments Platform Business Link

For consumers, these days, there's no shortage of peer-to-peer apps they can use to move money, with some popular examples including Cash App, Venmo, and Zelle. As for businesses, the list of options for sending money to vendors may be more limited. Now, a well-known credit card company and small business supporter is introducing a new platform for this purpose. This week, American Express announced the launch of Amex Business...

Carbon Credit API Cloverly Joins Visa's FinTech Partner Connect 

Last year, Visa introduced the FinTech Partner Connect program to the United States, with the goal of introducing institutions to vetted startups that could help them expand their product offerings. Now, the latest company to join the program is Cloverly. Founded in 2019, Cloverly is an API for carbon credits, allowing businesses and consumers to help fight climate change. As the company points out, with the Visa partnership, Visa clients...

Prosper Announces $75 Million Growth Capital Financing

A long-admired FinTech has added some new capital to its coffers and it continues to grow after more than 15 years in business. Recently, Prosper Marketplace announced that it had closed a $75 million debt financing round. This capital came from a fund managed by Neuberger Bergman and will be used to help Prosper meet the demand for its loans, credit card, investment products, and more. According to the company,...