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Henry Wilson
Henry Wilson

WSJ Reviews Apple Card: The Credit Card Of The Future Is No Card At All

Emily is a specific individual, but she is also representative of her generation's particular struggles. She went to an expensive art school, graduating with a degree in portraiture and a mountain of debt. There is no way on earth she can ever pay it back, neither the interest nor the principal. Emily has a record. There was a DUI in college. There was also an arrest for assault. This means she can't pass a background check, a roadblock when applying for "real" jobs. She works for a GrubHub-type company as a contractor (they can cut her hours with no warning and she has no recourse). She hauls lasagna into gleaming corporate offices, where women in tailored suits mill about waiting for her to finish. She is offered a promising internship, but the internship is, of course, unpaid. She can't go without pay for five months. Who can? Emily is trapped. That is, until a co-worker introduces her to the world of credit card fraud.

WSJ reviews Apple Card: The credit card of the future is no card at all

A group of people gather in a warehouse and are led through the process by Youcef (Theo Rossi), who says up front that what they will be doing is illegal (but safe), and if anyone doesn't feel comfortable it's okay to get up and leave. His manner is quiet and kind and he inspires trust. Emily is given a fake license, a fake credit card, and instructions on what to purchase for black market re-selling. Later on, as Emily gets up to speed, Youcef gives her a taser for protection and a burner phone. He shows her how to make the credit cards. She "takes" to this. The money is addictive. The thought of getting out of debt is an overwhelming incentive. Liz, Emily's friend from art school (Megalyn Echikunwoke), keeps dangling the possibility of recommending Emily for a job as a graphic designer at her ad agency, highlighting the vast abyss between the two friends' circumstances. (Liz, being sent to Portugal on business, complains to Emily, "It's for only 11 days." Only!)

As the jobs get riskier and riskier, Emily's true nature is activated, calling to mind the opening scene where Emily turns a failing job interview on its ear. She never plays defense. She goes on the offense as quickly as possible. She thinks on her feet. When she decides to fight back, she can be quite frightening. She likes Youcef, an immigrant from Lebanon with dreams, things he's saving up for. Youcef likes her too. The credit card fraud aspect of "Emily the Criminal" is fascinating, a deep dive into the world of "dummy shopping," but what ignites the film overall is Aubrey Plaza's unpredictable and often thrilling performance.

Plaza "came up" through the comedy world, which proves a point I once made in a piece for Film Comment about the dramatic gifts of actors mostly known for comedy (people like Barbara Harris, Catherine O'Hara, Madeline Kahn). Plaza is a wild card. She takes risks. Her deadpan delivery can be hilarious, but it can also be unsettling. She shifts it depending on the story's context. Her performances in "Ingrid Goes West" and "Black Bear" show her willingness to travel in some very dark waters, as well as her openness to playing "unlikable" or at least "difficult" characters. Like Kristen Wiig, Plaza has carved out her own space in which to operate. She doesn't seem beholden to the industry and its demands as other more mainstream actresses do. She feels free enough to produce something like "Emily the Criminal," devoting herself to a first-time director. This speaks to her belief in the project, and also what she is interested in as an actress. This is not ingratiating material, and she is not "ingratiating" in it.

There is a growing trend away from the business card as we know it, and maybe for good reason. Before the pandemic, an estimated 27 million business cards were being printed around the world each day, adding up to more than 7 billion annually. Yet, according to data from Adobe, 88% of the business cards handed out are thrown away in less than a week.

Starting from next month (1 October), the auto-payment rules are likely to be changed. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) earlier stated that recurring transactions using debit cards, credit cards, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) or other prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) will need additional factor authentication (AFA). A large number of credit and debit card users set auto-payment instructions for a number of services ranging from electricity and gas to music and movie subscriptions, and the new rules threatened to spell chaos for millions of users.

Banks have started informing their customers about this new rule. As per RBI's recurring payment guidelines, w.e.f. 20-09-21, Standing Instructions on your Axis Bank Card(s) for recurring transactions will not be honoured. You can pay the merchant directly using your card for uninterrupted service," read a communication sent by Axis Bank.

8) If Standing Instructions for Bill payments is registered on your Bank account, there will be no change. If these are on your Bank's debit or credit card, these will get declined from 1st October 2021. E.g. SI given on Netflix, Amazon, Insurance payments will get deactivated. However, SI registered using bank accounts for Mutual Funds, SIPs, EMIs will continue.

The financial services industry has been visibly transformed by software over the last 30 years. Practically every financial transaction, from someone buying a cup of coffee to someone trading a trillion dollars of credit default derivatives, is done in software. And many of the leading innovators in financial services are software companies, such as Square, which allows anyone to accept credit card payments with a mobile phone, and PayPal, which generated more than $1 billion in revenue in the second quarter of this year, up 31% over the previous year.

A group of consumers has asked a D.C. federal judge to preliminarily approve a $66.74 million deal with Bank of America and other financial institutions to end claims they fixed prices with credit card issuers to keep ATM fees inflated. If it gets the green light, the deal would be the first settlement out of class actions stretching back roughly nine years, encompassing three different cases in district court against Visa, MasterCard and a host of banking companies over ATM surcharges. The plaintiffs asked the judge to sign an order making Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP and Mehri & Skalet PLLC the settlement class counsel, should the deal be approved.

The report also shows how the relationships between Apple, Visa, and Mastercard works. This includes the report that Apple agreed not to develop its own card network to compete with the two. Apple Card is currently powered by Mastercard.

US banks and card networks are not satisfied with Apple Pay ever since it was launched and adopted in 2014. Some bank executives were also angered when Apple partnered up with Goldman Sachs to launch Apple Card in 2019.

After the Internet bubble burst, e-currency companies tried to evolve by concentrating on business customers, but the collapse of a high-profile trailblazer such as Beenz shows that the Old Economy credit card companies have probably won the online shopping battle.

Experts believe that online currency sites such as Beenz were overtaken as a way of shopping online by credit cards, which had the advantage of being virtually universally accepted both on and offline.

This morning I stopped at a coffee shop that uses an iPad for a cash register. I ordered a muffin, a coffee, and paid with a credit card. The barrista swiped my card and pivoted the iPad to face me, so that I could sign with my finger on the screen. I was about to when I recalled new research out of Northeastern that finds public iPads are among the most germ-infested places you're likely to put your hands all day.


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