Bank of America tech chief says there’s nothing new about Apple Card

“Bank of America’s technology and operations chief Cathy Bessant isn’t losing sleep over Apple’s new credit card,” Hugh Son reports for CNBC.

“Bessant, who has led the bank’s tech division since 2010, was asked by CNBC’s Deirdre Bosa what her reaction was to Apple’s announcement on Monday,” Son reports. “‘My reaction when I saw the announcement was, first competitively, all of the features that are in that card are offerings we have today,’ Bessant said on Squawk Alley. ‘The card plastic for swiping itself, all the way through to the mobile and electronic wallet.'”

Son reports, “The new service relies on Apple Pay for mobile payments and includes a titanium card for situations where Apple Pay isn’t yet accepted.”

Apple's physical laser-etched titanium Apple Card
Apple’s physical laser-etched titanium Apple Card

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We love the smell of desperation in the morning, afternoon, and night!

Bessant’s statements remind us of others we’ve heard in the past, including:

• “The Apple Watch is going to flop… The Apple Watch is Jonathan Ive’s Newton… Apple may have built out the watch to satisfy the urges of a designer who has become more obsessed with Bentleys and Rolexes than making attractive, functional technology that will actually make life better for the 99%.” — Mark Wilson, March 2, 2015

• “The Apple Watch cannot compete with any prestigious watch from a prestigious brand. The only thing you might be able to do with your 18k gold Apple Watch is to melt it down and recoup the few grams of gold; end of story! … I welcome the Apple Watch and thank them for helping to promote and prepare the wrist for us in the Swiss watch industry.” — Jean-Claude Biver, September 15, 2014

• “We are not at all worried. We think we’ve got the one mobile platform you’ll use for the rest of your life. [Apple] are not going to catch up.” – Scott Rockfeld, Microsoft Mobile Communications Group Product Manager, April 01, 2008

• “What does the iPhone offer that other cell phones do not already offer, or will offer soon? The answer is not very much.” – Laura Goldman, LSG Capital, May 21, 2007

• Motorola’s then-Chairman and then-CEO Ed Zander said his company was ready for competition from Apple’s iPhone, due out the following month. “How do you deal with that?” Zander was asked at the Software 2007 conference. Zander quickly retorted, “How do they deal with us?” – Ed Zander, May 10, 2007

• “There’s an old saying — stick to your knitting — and Apple is not a mobile phone manufacturer, that’s not their knitting… I think people overreacted to it — there was not a lot of tremendously new stuff if you think about it.” – Greg Winn, Telstra’s operations chief, February 15, 2007

• “[Apple’s iPhone] is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard which makes it not a very good email machine… So, I, I kinda look at that and I say, well, I like our strategy. I like it a lot.” – Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, January 17, 2007

• “The iPhone is nothing more than a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks. In terms of its impact on the industry, the iPhone is less relevant… Apple is unlikely to make much of an impact on this market… Apple will sell a few to its fans, but the iPhone won’t make a long-term mark on the industry.” – Matthew Lynn, Bloomberg, January 15, 2007

• “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” – Ed Colligan, Palm CEO, November 16, 2006

• “I give [Apple] two years before they’re turning out the lights on a very painful and expensive mistake.” – David Goldstein, Channel Marketing Corp. President, May 21, 2001


  1. I’m in on day 1. I’ll try anything to break the cycle of having to get a new credit card issued every 6 months or so because some merchant was compromised one way or the other and my card is now making purchases 3 states away.

    1. Agree with you. Already had my CCs comprised in the last 6 months alone. My credit union CC had an unusual purchase. They called me while I was driving home to VB from DC. A purchase was made in Ohio at a KFC. It was then followed up by a gas purchase. Needless to say, my credit union closed it right there and then when I told them I’m driving from DC to VB. Crazy shit.

  2. “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent credit card,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

  3. The thing I wanna know is what Apple Card interest rates are going to be? Currently I pay less than 10% and there’s no reason interest rates should be higher than 8% for anyone. Capital One decided to jump from 8% to 16% a few years ago despite my protests and excellent credit rating so I paid off the balance and just cancelled the card. So they will never know “what’s in my wallet” to steal. Ridiculous! (Samuel Jackson should know better.)

    High interest rates are what make it hard for many to pay it down and a penalty on the low middle class and poor, those who keep a balance for whatever reason.

    1. Dude, you’re mad. Credit card loans are unsecured (no collateral to repossess if the debtor can’t or won’t pay). The lender has no control over what you spend it on, so you could get a cash advance and blow it in Vegas and there’s nothing they can say. Most other loans involve a complex underwriting process where the lender mapmaker sure the loan is going into something likely to return the money. Also a large fraction of borrowers – those who pay off in full each month – are borrowing entirely interest free, which can be a net loss for the bank if the card has no fees. You’re right that paying credit card interest sux for people who run up the balance and can’t pay it back. That’s what bankruptcy is for. What’s sad here is not that Apple + Goldman are scoundrels here. What’s sad is that the terms are on the generous side of what’s available elsewhere. The card is great if you can pay it off. If you’re upset, blame our unequal society and start voting Democrat to do things like raise the minimum wage, make higher education cheaper, expand availability of cheaper healthcare and childcare, etc. That we don’t have those things ain’t Apple’s or Goldman’s fault. Poverty simply sux.

      1. While those that pay in full don’t pay interest or fees, it’s far from the truth to say the lender has a net loss. Ask any vendor and they’ll tell you that they are charged a base fee plus a percentage of the transaction for each credit card transaction. This covers more than the amount paid out in cash back and point incentives for the card being used.

  4. Haha. Yup! MDN’s take is exactly what I was thinking. A history of idiots in other companies suggesting Apple can’t compete in their field or “isn’t bringing anything new.” More bloodbaths coming…

    1. And what makes it doubly idiotic is that she doesn’t know the history. Pretty ignorant for someone in that position. Or does she think all the dolts will just believe her?

    2. I am always dubious when fanboys point to past successes made by a driven focused team under a brilliant CEO will translate to future success for a bloated lazy bureaucratic mess of an organization where the left hand doesn’t know what the other does. Cook is the limpest excuse for a leader one could imagine.

      What specifically makes you think that this week’s credit card announcement is anything else than Apple floundering after Chinese mobile payment giants Tencent and Alibaba? Why do you think Apple will do better in the TV arena than Disney, the major networks, or anyone else?

      The hubris of the fanboy base is palpable even before any important details have been released.

      My take: doing business with Goldman Sachs is one of the last things I would want to do.

      1. I am always dubious when hateboys try to portray Apple’s succeses as if they only happened on Steve’s watch, and ignore the enormous growth and new products that have come with Cook at the helm.

        What specifically makes you think that this week’s credit card announcement is anything else than Apple coming into an existing industry and showing how to do it better… as they have done repeatedly?

        The hubris of the hateboy/troll/whiny little bitches base is palpable even before any important details have been released, to actually critique.

  5. @BOA if you are not worried that is fine we are all happy for you but why do you feel the need to come out with a statement saying you are not worried.

    if Apple Card is a failure good for you, but if its not and it takes business from you then you look like a fool making statements like that.

  6. I believe the “small print” says 13% to 24% depending on credit rating. Not bad. They said they would work to get consumers the lowest rate possible given their credit history.

  7. MDN Editor: I have seen you post many of these same quotes over the years. The one from Laura Goldman is particularly priceless. I really needed a belly laugh today; thank you so much for keeping and posting these timeless YKBAID quotes!

    1. Just sayin’ not much.

      Not much of a point balanced against the multiple industries or major sectors within industries they have transformed and dominated.

  8. Although BoA offers many of those features, they are spread across multiple cards. Credit card companies do that as a way to increase profits (nothing wrong with that). They give with one hand and take away with another. That’s because credit card companies typically start with the profit motive in mind and it’s their interest for users to rack up huge debts and only make minimum payments.

    Apple started with the consumer experience instead. I’m looking forward to it. Competition makes things better.

  9. To be fair, the assessment about the god and rose gold Apple Watch was right. Apple started out with their original gold and rose gold cases that didn’t make sense, so they immediately abandoned that and went with the less expensive route of the ceramic case. Now that they’re reached series 4, they have completely abandoned all the expensive materials and stuck with stainless steel and aluminum since those are the only ones that sell right from the start with series 0.

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