Apple AAPL and Goldman Sachs are allowing customers to defer their Apple Card payment for April without incurring interest charges or a penalty in response to the financial pressure due to the coronavirus outbreak, per a Bloomberg report. Apple Card, backed by Goldman, had offered the same program to its users for March payments.
Apple Card users are required to opt in to the Customer Assistance program by messaging a support representative via the Wallet app on an Apple device.
Apple and Goldman Sachs expect card members to pay eventually but don't want to risk service discontinuity for legions of customers who are out of work or otherwise taking a monetary hit due to the pandemic.
Other top banks including American Express, Bank of America, Barclays and Capital One among others have also encouraged customers to reach out in case they are experiencing financial difficulties.
Apple Inc. Price and Consensus
Apple’s Growing Card Payment Services
Launched in August 2019, the Apple Card is designed for iPhone users and comes with several benefits including no fees, daily cash-back rewards, interest-free monthly payments and works with Apple Pay. It also exists as a physical titanium credit card.
Notably, in November 2019, Goldman Sachs provided $10 billion in credit lines in just over a month for the Apple-branded credit card.
Moreover, consumers with the new credit card had already run up $2 billion in loan balances at the end of December, 2019 per Business Insider Report.
Nonetheless, the Apple Card started reflecting additional financial details for charges like iCloud Storage Plan, Apple Music Subscription among others in its internal transactions instead of just showing Apple Services listed on a transaction.
Moreover, Apple introduced a opt-in option, allowing users to share more data with Goldman Sachs if they don't get approved for the Apple Card at first pass. The data will require user’s Apple product and service purchase history, how long a user has had an Apple ID, and how much they routinely spend with Apple.
The above initiatives are part of Apple's effort to expand beyond the iPhone into boosting revenues from its gamut of services.
In first-quarter fiscal 2020, Apple witnessed double-digit growth in services across all geographic segments. Robust performance of cloud services, music, payment services and the App Store search ad business drove Services revenues.
Apple’s Continued Efforts to Combat Coronavirus
This latest Apple Card announcement is part of the initiatives Apple has undertaken to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Recently, the iPhone-maker partnered with CDC, the White House Coronavirus Task Force and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to release a new COVID-19 website and COVID-19 app currently available on the App Store in the United States to bring in more awareness about the highly contagious virus.
Notably, last week, Apple donated 10 million protective masks to U.S. health care groups after using its supply chain team to locate and buy the masks. It also recently added answers about the virus to its Siri digital assistant.
Moreover, Apple has also switched WWDC to an online-only format for 2020 and opened a dedicated coronavirus spotlight on Apple News platform.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Apple currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include Avid Technology AVID, Akamai Technologies, Inc. AKAM and Baidu, Inc. BIDU. While Avid Technology sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Akamai and Baidu carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Long-term earnings growth rate for Avid Technology, Akamai and Baidu is currently pegged at 15%, 12% and 10%, respectively.
Looking for Stocks with Skyrocketing Upside?
Zacks has just released a Special Report on the booming investment opportunities of legal marijuana.
Ignited by new referendums and legislation, this industry is expected to blast from an already robust $6.7 billion to $20.2 billion in 2021. Early investors stand to make a killing, but you have to be ready to act and know just where to look.
See the pot trades we're targeting>>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
Baidu, Inc. (BIDU): Free Stock Analysis Report
Avid Technology, Inc. (AVID): Free Stock Analysis Report
Akamai Technologies, Inc. (AKAM): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.