Apple Inc. has officially launched its “Pay Later” service to all users in the United States, following an initial limited release in March. The feature, first unveiled in June 2022, aims to provide a seamless and flexible payment solution through its Apple Wallet, amid the burgeoning trend of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services.
The “Pay Later” service allows Apple users to make purchases between $75 and $1,000 and split the cost into four equal installments over a span of six weeks, sans any interest or late fees. This initiative, as Apple states, was designed with the “users’ financial health in mind”.
A significant aspect of this rollout is Apple’s partnership with Mastercard and Goldman Sachs. The Mastercard Installments program enables the lending side of the service, while Goldman Sachs issues the Mastercard payment credential required for completing “Pay Later” purchases. However, the future of Goldman Sachs’ financial partnership with Apple seems to be on shaky grounds as reports suggest the firm is considering severing its credit card and savings account ties with the tech giant.
The mechanics of using the “Pay Later” feature are simple yet secure. Users are required to apply for a loan through the Wallet app, specifying the desired amount, and agreeing to the terms and conditions. Once approved, a “Pay Later” option surfaces at checkout, both online and within various apps, providing a comprehensive overview of all upcoming payments through the Wallet app. To ensure eligibility, users must be at least 18 years old, U.S. citizens or lawful residents, and have an eligible debit card set up with Apple Pay on their device.
The nationwide launch propels Apple into direct competition with existing BNPL service providers such as PayPal, Affirm, and Klarna. This move is seen as Apple’s strategic step to provide innovative financial solutions that enhance user experience while leveraging its extensive ecosystem.
As Apple delves deeper into the financial services realm with “Pay Later”, it’s a nod to the evolving consumer payment preferences and the tech giant’s continuous stride towards enhancing user-centric financial solutions. The inclusion of “Pay Later” is not only a significant addition to the Apple Wallet but also marks Apple’s earnest endeavor to stay abreast with the changing financial landscape, offering more flexible payment alternatives to its vast user base.