A Little Friction Can Be a Good Thing

Apple and Goldman Sachs are launching a consumer credit card.

On this week’s episode of Vox’s Recode: Decode, Host Kara Swisher talks to Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon.

Credit Key
“Credit Key” by Got Credit is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Solomon states that while the credit card is currently only available to select Apple and Goldman employees, he’s excited for the broader launch because the market is ripe for a product that removes friction from financial transactions – something he claims this credit card is going to do. The Apple-Goldman card represents the first foray of Goldman Sachs into consumer credit cards, and is linked closely with the iPhone and Apple Pay. This is where the promise of decreased friction lies. Your apple pay and now Apple-Goldman credit card will make it easy to link contactless spending and credit, and then use that credit for online and offline purchases alike. Which will make some transactions much easier for people with the Apple credit card, and which will likely make this Apple Goldman partnership successful.

Frictionless. Credit.

But sometimes, a little friction can be a good thing. If you have to enter your credit card information into Apple before you can use it for contactless (or any) spending, maybe you’ll think just a little longer about whether you want to make that purchase. If there is a little bit of friction in your credit habits, perhaps you’ll buy things more often from your bank account rather than from a credit card, being less likely to spend on credit at an outrageous interest rate. Or maybe you’ll simply be more likely to diversify your credit, not relying solely on one provider who then has increased power to track you across your internet, telephone and now banking habits.

A little friction can be a good thing because as a general rule, decreased friction accompanies decreased privacy as different spheres in our lives are linked together – frictionless. I’m not sure I’m entirely convinced that everything needs to be super convenient all the time either. Sometimes friction gives us time to slow down, to reflect, or to be more deliberate about the choices we make – and I’m not sure we should be so eager to give up on that.

 

A Little Friction Can Be a Good Thing

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