Apple is making all efforts possible to help its customers and employees under the strain caused by the coronavirus. It closed all its Apple Stores until March 27th to protect employees and will now allow all Apple Card customers to skip their March payment without accruing any additional interest or penalty fees.
In an email to Apple Card customers, the company said that they “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.”
Apple is calling this their “Customer Assistance Programme.” Customers will need to contact Apple directly to join the programme, as they could still be charged additional interest and penalty fees should they not make the payment in March without prearrangement.
As they virus continues to spread, and the world comes to a standstill, these kinds of measures are needed to alleviate some of the pressure. Many are unable to work at this time of quarantine and are not being paid, which puts a lot of financial pressure on their households. While these measures aren’t likely to extend for long, any small amount of help is surely appreciated.
Apple launched the credit card, a Mastercard, in 2019 through a partnership with issuer Goldman Sachs. The interest rate on the Apple Card is broad, between 12.99% and 23.99%, and based on the bank’s determination of the customer’s creditworthiness.
The world economy is going to take an enormous hit during this period, including the big tech companies. Sales of all types of products will decrease, but the smartphone industry is expected to be particularly hard hit. It is a product many people see are largely a luxury, and if people are feeling financial strain those are the first products people forego.