MacInTouch Amazon link...
Channels
Apple, Security, Products
You want a nightmare? Google is getting into banking. They already know about all your shipments by skimming your emails, they might as well know how you are paying for all those items.
Reuters said:
Google Pay to offer checking accounts through Citi, Stanford Federal
The project, codenamed Cache, comes as rivals Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) are expanding their own efforts in consumer finance, a broad area that ranges from digital payment apps to bank accounts, brokerage accounts and loans, and which offer Silicon Valley new sources of revenue and new opportunities to strengthen ties with users.

U.S. regulators and lawmakers have expressed concern about how those companies’ massive influence and poor records on data privacy will play out as they try to gain ground in finance. The scrutiny most recently prompted Facebook’s partners to pull back from plans to support the launch of a digital currency.
 






I wanted to mention [re the discussion] that my wife is consistently rated a couple of points better than me, the actual breadwinner, on both Equifax and Transunion....
 


Wait a minute, if they share all financial accounts why does she have a higher credit score?
If I recall correctly from an interview clip I saw, even though he has money, he doesn't pay some of his bills on time (perhaps due to distraction). They may have dual-listed major asset accounts, but some of the bills/liabilities probably have just one name on them – the Apple Card certainly does. There may also be a component from starting lower, too.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
More about fundamental issues that have surfaced with Apple's credit card:
Wired said:
The Apple Card Didn't 'See' Gender—and That's the Problem
The way its algorithm determines credit lines makes the risk of bias more acute

... The response from Apple just added confusion and suspicion. No one from the company seemed able to describe how the algorithm even worked, let alone justify its output. While Goldman Sachs, the issuing bank for the Apple Card, insisted right away that there isn't any gender bias in the algorithm, it failed to offer any proof. Then, finally, Goldman landed on what sounded like an ironclad defense: The algorithm, it said, has been vetted for potential bias by a third party; moreover, it doesn’t even use gender as an input. How could the bank discriminate if no one ever tells it which customers are women and which are men?

This explanation is doubly misleading. For one thing, it is entirely possible for algorithms to discriminate on gender, even when they are programmed to be “blind” to that variable. For another, imposing willful blindness to something as critical as gender only makes it harder for a company to detect, prevent, and reverse bias on exactly that variable.

#AI #bias
 


Apple recently announced the ability to use your Apple Card (via Apple Pay) to pay for a new iPhone 11 using 24 monthly installments with no interest and still get the 6% Apple Cash back if you purchase before the end of the year. However, whenever I try to do this, the only option I see is Pay In Full using Apple Pay. Has anyone successfully been able to buy an iPhone using Apple Card Monthly Installments?
 



Apple recently announced the ability to use your Apple Card (via Apple Pay) to pay for a new iPhone 11 using 24 monthly installments with no interest and still get the 6% Apple Cash back if you purchase before the end of the year. However, whenever I try to do this, the only option I see is Pay In Full using Apple Pay. Has anyone successfully been able to buy an iPhone using Apple Card Monthly Installments?
Yes, I was successful just yesterday on the Apple Store on iOS 13 on my iPhone. The selection to do this is before the payment options; it's just below the section where you pick your carrier.
 


Yes, I was successful just yesterday on the Apple Store on iOS 13 on my iPhone. The selection to do this is before the payment options; it's just below the section where you pick your carrier.
Thank you. Following your instructions, I was finally able to see the Apple Card monthly payments option—and then to figure out why it wasn’t showing up originally. Evidently, you have to choose a carrier before this option appears. It is not available if you choose to buy a SIM-free phone. It is also not an option at all if you are purchasing from the military/veteran store, even if you select a carrier.

So, in order to use Apple Card monthly payments you must be paying full retail (no military/veteran discount) and you must be purchasing a phone with a carrier plan, not a SIM-free phone.

I wasn't able to see whether the monthly payments option is available to purchasers using educational discount but I suspect it is not.
 


...So, in order to use Apple Card monthly payments you must be paying full retail (no military/veteran discount)...
I am eligible for the veteran's discount and an organizational discount, and my wife is eligible for an educational discount. As far as I know, these discounts have never applied to the iPhone. Has Apple changed its policy on that?
 


I've purchased some smaller items using the military discount (Apple watch, iPhone case). Here is the link:

You have to prove you are military/veteran through the web site id.me. I did it by creating an account at USAA. After that, id.me believed me about my service, and then Apple accepted that. So, it was quite involved. I did not have to actually create a savings/checking account at USAA, nor buy their insurance offerings.

Yes, iPhones are available in their military store, 10% off. Apple Card will give you additional cash back.

However, combining the military discount with other discounts, or getting the new 24-month payment plan, might take human intervention – either through the web site, or through the Apple Card help system, if you're using that.
 


I am eligible for the veteran's discount and an organizational discount, and my wife is eligible for an educational discount. As far as I know, these discounts have never applied to the iPhone. Has Apple changed its policy on that?
It would appear so. There is a significant veterans discount on the purchase of an iPhone 11 Pro Max. I didn't look at other models. And I no longer qualify for educational discounts, so I didn't check that either.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
CSV.WTF is a web app / hack from Jed Schmidt that uses JavaScript to convert Apple Card statements from PDF into more a useful CSV data file for use with spreadsheets, etc. The website is short on documentation but lists the procedure involved. Here are more details:
CNBC said:
This developer was surprised that Apple Card didn’t let him download spending data, so he built a fix
  • Apple Card users can download transaction history in PDF format, but you can’t upload it into a spreadsheet.
  • Jed Schmidt, a programmer in New York, hacked together a tool so he could analyze his Apple Card transactions. He charges $5 for the full version.
  • “I was surprised, having adopted Apple Card pretty early, that it didn’t exist,” Schmidt said.
 


CSV.WTF is a web app / hack from Jed Schmidt that uses JavaScript to convert Apple Card statements from PDF into more a useful CSV data file for use with spreadsheets, etc. The website is short on documentation but lists the procedure involved. Here are more details:
I used the script (full version) and reported to Jed that it isn't obvious where the converted monthly statement is saved. Fast enough on my iPhone 11 Pro and on my 2017 iMac. I'm interested in having him produce a file that can be imported into Quicken Mac. Not having that reduces my desire to use Apple Card because I lack the categorization of spending and ability to search.
 


CSV.WTF is a web app / hack from Jed Schmidt that uses JavaScript to convert Apple Card statements from PDF into more a useful CSV data file for use with spreadsheets, etc
Acrobat Reader will grab tabular data from PDFs to insert in spreadsheets. As would the full Acrobat if you have that.

[See also:]
Tabula said:
Tabula is a tool for liberating data tables locked inside PDF files.
If you’ve ever tried to do anything with data provided to you in PDFs, you know how painful it is — there's no easy way to copy-and-paste rows of data out of PDF files. Tabula allows you to extract that data into a CSV or Microsoft Excel spreadsheet using a simple, easy-to-use interface. Tabula works on Mac, Windows and Linux.
Over in Linux, the KDE application Okular does a great job of extracting data from tables to import into PDFs. Worth running a VM just for Okular!
 



CSV.WTF is a web app / hack from Jed Schmidt that uses JavaScript to convert Apple Card statements from PDF into more a useful CSV data file for use with spreadsheets, etc. The website is short on documentation but lists the procedure involved. Here are more details:
Here's what I do to grab tabular data from a pdf file:
  1. open file with Chrome
  2. select (by dragging) the rows of data you wish to grab
  3. paste into a plain text TextEdit document
  4. parse to your heart's content
 


Here's what I do to grab tabular data from a pdf file:
  1. open file with Chrome
  2. select (by dragging) the rows of data you wish to grab
  3. paste into a plain text TextEdit document
  4. parse to your heart's content
Michael, I was really hoping this would work and followed your steps exactly. But although the data does preserve the link breaks instead of copying by column, for me it doesn't preserve tabs—everything is space-delimited. As a result, I would still have tons of manual formatting to do.

Maybe I'll try Okular now, since I have an Ubuntu VM.
 


Maybe I'll try Okular now, since I have an Ubuntu VM.
Okular is a KDE application. I recommend installing the SNAP version, if you can do that in an Ubuntu VM. Keep all those KDE dependencies confined and easy to remove if you decide not to keep Okular.

Tips:
Okular Menu: Tools > Table Selection Tool
Carefully click between columns and rows to separate items.

In my experience, using the explicit Okular Menu choice Edit > Copy on the highlighted, separated, table works, and often Ctrl-C or a right-click won't.

After the table is in the copy buffer, it should just paste into a spreadsheet. It is often necessary to copy ranges, because of page breaks. When pasting down a new range below one that already looks good, I leave an empty row between pasted ranges, then delete the row after verifying the new paste is good.
Here's what I do to grab tabular data from a pdf file:
  1. open file with Chrome
  2. select (by dragging) the rows of data you wish to grab
  3. paste into a plain text TextEdit document
  4. parse to your heart's content
This may also apply to Excel, which I haven't had since 2011 went EOL. Am currently using LibreOffice (Linux) and its Mac-native fork, NeoOffice.


Experiment with different options to find a mix that works; they're not necessarily mutually exclusive. Detect Special numbers reads text fields that look like dates as dates.
I tried Tabula, but the table it produced kept the percentage of reward in the same column as the dollar amount. Will have to see if there is a way to alter the selection process to avoid the issue.
I don't have an Apple Card so can't test extracting its data. It is possible Larry's Tabula result might work if pasted into a Calc/Excel sheet with different separators selected.

Another trick: Open the Tabula .csv file as a plain text document. Viewing it that way might help troubleshooting. If it's something obvious and repetitive, creatively using the text editor's Find and Replace could add a missing separator or remove an extra. Should also point to any Tabula change that might help.
 



But although the data does preserve the link breaks instead of copying by column, for me it doesn't preserve tabs—everything is space-delimited.
I just created a very small Calc sheet in LibreOffice and saved it as .csv with spaces as the delimiters.

Here's what the body looks like when opened in a simple text editor:

letter "Num 1" %one Dollars
a 1 10.00% $10.00
b 2 20.00% $20.00
c 3 30.00% $30.00
c 4 40.00% $40.00
e 5 50.00% $50.00

To be sure it wasn't just opening from a LibreOffice cached [version], I saved the file under a different name from the text editor, then used the Open > With in the Linux Mint file manager to specify Libre Office Calc. That brought up the Text Import dialog box. I cleared all the Separator Options, then clicked "Separated By" and "Space", and it opened as expected. I left all column types "Standard." The Numbers were numbers, the % percentage, and all available for mathematical operations.
 


I tried Tabula, but the table it produced kept the percentage of reward in the same column as the dollar amount. Will have to see if there is a way to alter the selection process to avoid the issue.
Are you using Excel? The "Text to Columns" command can likely separate the data.
 


I just did some googling and was disappointed to see that Apple Card cannot be linked to Mint.com, which I have found to be an amazingly useful personal finance tool, especially for the price (free). If it were possible to link them, it would be trivial to export downloaded transactions.

It is in character with both old and new Apple that they'd opt for a closed environment, in which Apple Card is the only credit card you'd ever have and you'd only need Apple's tools to interact with it, but I hope they change this. iOS 1.0 didn't have apps, either, and Apple Card being Goldman's first consumer card, they may not have had existing infrastructure for connection to external services. But, Apple being Apple, who knows if this kind of interoperability will ever be made a priority. If GS releases other cards, then maybe personal finance software linking will come to Apple Card as well.

As an aside, I and other credit card points enthusiasts haven't gotten an Apple Card, because there are other cards on the market (PayPal Cashback, Citi Double Cash) that offer 2% back on everything, not only Apple Pay transactions -- though of course they work perfectly well with Apple Pay. The Alliant Visa Signature offers 2.5% back with an annual fee, and specialty cards exist too: Capital One Savor offers 4% on dining, and Amazon Prime Card offers 5% at Amazon and Whole Foods. And various cards from Chase, Amex, and Citi offer more in terms of travel rewards, if that's your thing.

The Apple Card is just not quite enough of a "think different" reinvention of the credit card to compensate for its middling returns, though I'm hopeful Apple will still do something truly inventive with it. Haven't seen it yet, though.
 


I just did some googling and was disappointed to see that Apple Card cannot be linked to Mint.com, which I have found to be an amazingly useful personal finance tool, especially for the price (free).
Ivan, I'm seriously not attempting to troll here, but "privacy" is a primary advertised benefit of the Apple Card.
Apple said:
Apple Card: Privacy and Security
Even Apple doesn’t know what you bought. Or where. Or how much you paid.
While it's your choice to share financial details with Intuit / Mint, Mint is clearly one of those services that's free because the customer is the product.

Intuit has a variety of services, including Mint. All the data about account holders is held in one "file," all the better for marketing. Worth a review:

 


Ivan, I'm seriously not attempting to troll here, but "privacy" is a primary advertised benefit of the Apple Card.
It's a good point, and if it's something you value, then you can add it to your evaluation of the card's benefits. With that said, I guess I've considered ourselves to be living in a post-privacy age for so long now that I'd still prefer it to be my choice as whether I want to integrate my credit cards with a service that lets me manage my personal finances the way I want to, rather than the way Apple tells me I have to.
 


It's a good point, and if it's something you value, then you can add it to your evaluation of the card's benefits. With that said, I guess I've considered ourselves to be living in a post-privacy age for so long now that I'd still prefer it to be my choice as whether I want to integrate my credit cards with a service that lets me manage my personal finances the way I want to, rather than the way Apple tells me I have to.
It's not purely a "privacy" issue. Making more personal information available in more places makes you more vulnerable to identity theft and phishing scams using that information. I have had credit cards compromised too many times to gladly share my personal information just to get something "free."
 


It's not purely a "privacy" issue. Making more personal information available in more places makes you more vulnerable to identity theft and phishing scams using that information. I have had credit cards compromised too many times to gladly share my personal information just to get something "free."
I'd happily pay for Mint.com if they offered that option (and I wish they did, if it meant better support and no ads); its being free is not the attraction. The attraction is that I find it to be an invaluable personal finance tool, and I'd like it to be my choice, not Apple's, as to whether I want to take the risks you describe to have something of significant value to me. Unless it can be demonstrated to me, or even claimed by authority, that having data at Mint.com is unsafe, I'm unpersuaded that Apple is looking out for my best interests by limiting my options. I agree that having more data in more places does increase risk of identity theft, and I am conscious of that when deciding what information to share with whom, but I'd prefer to perform my own risk assessment.
 



I used the new feature to export each month’s transaction report from 2019. After deleting a few columns using Numbers, I was able to manually import into Quicken using its CSV (Mint) format choice – basic, but useful once I make a few more adjustments, I think. Will still lobby for transaction download directly from the AppleCard bank into Quicken for parity with Chase Visa.
 


Reportedly, Mint has not been maintained and still requires Flash Player. It reminds me of how Intuit botched its efforts to maintain Quicken.
Fast Company said:
What the hell happened to Mint?
Intuit’s Mint personal-finance service wants me to know it’s sorry. Again.

“We’re sorry!” its investments page bleats when I try to view my mutual funds’ performance. “Our graphs require the latest version of Adobe Flash player.”

That site has spent years apologizing to me for needing Adobe’s vulnerability-riddled plug-in: since I long ago booted Flash from my browser, since Adobe said in 2017 that it would drop Flash by the end of 2020, since Intuit told me in 2018 that Mint would wean itself from Flash “in the coming months.”

But that’s in keeping with this fossilized financial tool. Mint still provides a valuable service for free in aggregating transaction data from multiple financial institutions to clarify where your money comes and goes—and in the bargain suggests hopefully-better financial products from advertisers—but this app exhibits severe symptoms of neglect.
 


Reportedly, Mint has not been maintained and still requires Flash Player. It reminds me of how Intuit botched its efforts to maintain Quicken.
That was a depressing and accurate article, but read the last paragraph -- Mint.com is still a useful tool that has no real peer. It could be vastly better, and it has stagnated since Intuit bought it (of course), but if you've got a lot of accounts, it's still the only thing that really does the trick as elegantly as it does it. And it doesn't require Flash -- there is one portion of the site (investments), that I never use, that needs it. Apple Card not integrating with it is still a limitation, not a feature.
 


Amazon disclaimer:
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts