10 Nov 2019
Apple Card issuer accused of conducting sexist credit checks
Multiple tech entrepreneurs, including Apple's own co-founder Steve Wozniak, have alleged that the company has been allowing more credit limit to males than females while issuing the Apple Card.
Now, the bank is facing legal scrutiny over the matter.
Allotting higher credit card limit to males
Back in March, Apple announced that it had partnered with Goldman Sachs for issuing its new Apple Card to users in the US.
However, just a few months after the card's actual launch, David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of web app framework Ruby on Rails, has shared a series of tweets accusing the company of sexism when determining credit limits.
20 times higher limit allotted to Hansson
In the tweets, Hansson alleged he got a limit 20 times higher than that of his wife after they both applied for Apple Card.
The tech entrepreneur didn't share financial data but claimed that both him and his wife had filed joint tax returns and the latter even had a better credit score.
Additionally, he claimed Apple's customer service was of no help either.
Here's what he said on Twitter
The @AppleCard is such a fucking sexist program. My wife and I filed joint tax returns, live in a community-property state, and have been married for a long time. Yet Apple’s black box algorithm thinks I deserve 20x the credit limit she does. No appeals work.— DHH (@dhh) November 7, 2019
Several people, including Wozniak, detailed a similar experience
The tweet from Hansson sparked a wave with several Apple Card applicants, including Apple's own co-founder Steve Wozniak, detailed a similar case.
"The same thing happened to us," Wozniak tweeted. "I got 10x the credit limit. We have no separate bank or credit card accounts or any separate assets. Hard to get to a human for a correction though. It's big tech in 2019."
Now, Goldman Sachs is facing an investigation
While Hansson's wife eventually received a 'VIP Bump' that gave her a higher credit limit, it was rather seen as a response to the public outcry.
The matter has now escalated out of hand as the New York's Department of Financial Services has launched an investigation into the credit card practices of Goldman Sachs and the algorithms used by them for setting credit limits.
DFS will look for legal violations, intentional/unintentional sexism
DFS will conduct "an investigation to determine whether New York law was violated and ensure all consumers are treated equally regardless of sex," a spokesperson said, adding that algorithms that lead to "discriminatory treatment of women or any other protected class violates New York law."