— Issue 4 (Week 34, 2019)

Erwan Derlyn

It’s 1993 and your Sony Walkman is playing the eighth track of the Wu-Tang Clan’s debut studio album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) C.R.E.A.M.

Cash rules everything around me
CREAM, get the money
Dollar dollar bill, y'all 

Fast forward to today’s cashless society and a company headquartered in Cupertino, California would like you to sing this chorus instead.

Card Rules everything around me 
CREAM, get the credit 
2 percent Daily Cash, y’all 


Last Tuesday, Apple launched its highly anticipated Apple Card for all US customers. As everything Apple, it looks good, it sounds good, but it comes with some trade-offs.

Marques Brownlee summurizes it perfectly at the end of his unboxing video “Beware, this is obviously another tool that can be used to trap you in the Apple ecosystem”.

But why does this launch matter for marketers and entrepreneurs? The answer below.


Launched in 2014, Apple Pay has been quite a failure so far. Yes, there are around a billion active Apple device users in the world and 43% of them have enabled Apple Pay. And yes, an estimated 74% of US retailers (in revenue) now accept Apple’s digital payment. But in reality, a majority of small business merchants (in volume) still don’t have NFC-ready terminals (the technology required to checkout with Apple Pay). And online, Apple Pay is far from being the most popular payment acceptance solution. In fact, according to data from BuiltWith.com, only 6.46% of US websites offer Apple Pay as a payment solution (0.65% here in Sweden).

The Apple Card is not only “another tool to trap you in the Apple ecosystem” but it’s also a band-aid for Apple Pay. It's both a digital card that lives on your iPhone, with a traditional credit card backup that you can use when Apple Pay isn't available.

The titanium Apple Card could rapidly become a status symbol and increase the adoption of Apple Pay among users. And the incentive model (2% cash back vs 1% for non Apple Pay transactions) will pressure businesses to adapt their payment solution.

The Apple Card could potentially change the payment landscape both in-store and online. If “Card Rules Everything Around Me” for millions of users around the world, that will be a big deal for marketers and entrepreneurs.


Other things I found interesting this week:

PS: My latest post on LinkedIn has started quite a conversation in the industry around the polarizing term ‘Growth Hacking’. You can find a lot of interesting perspectives in the comments including the reaction of Sean Ellis (who first coined the term in 2010).

Thanks for reading!

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À bientôt 👋

— Erwan