Apple Pay Later Launches

Apple Newsroom:

Apple today introduced Apple Pay Later in the U.S. Designed with users’ financial health in mind, Apple Pay Later allows users to split purchases into four payments, spread over six weeks with no interest and no fees. Users can easily track, manage, and repay their Apple Pay Later loans in one convenient location in Apple Wallet. Users can apply for Apple Pay Later loans of $50 to $1,000, which can be used for online and in-app purchases made on iPhone and iPad with merchants that accept Apple Pay. Starting today, Apple will begin inviting select users to access a prerelease version of Apple Pay Later, with plans to offer it to all eligible users in the coming months.

From the small print:

Starting today, randomly selected users will be invited to get early access to a prerelease version of Apple Pay Later via Wallet and through their Apple ID email. Apple Pay Later is available in the U.S. for online and in-app purchases on iPhone and iPad.

I’m curious how slow this initial randomized rollout is going to be, but it makes sense to open it up cautiously.

One note that I either didn’t know, or had forgotten, is that Apple Pay Later is only available for online purchases — either on the web or in iOS apps. I guess that makes sense — competing services like Affirm, Klarma, and Afterpay are only available for e-commerce transactions too (I think?). I just never before thought of online Apple Pay being different from brick-and-mortar retail Apple Pay.

As I wrote back in June, after Apple Pay Later was announced at WWDC last year: “Apple Pay Later appears to simply be in the business of allowing users to split purchases into multiple payments, interest-free, with complete privacy.” I’d say Apple’s advantages in this market are privacy, convenience, and a very well-designed interface within Wallet to manage and track your payments.

Tuesday, 28 March 2023