Why Apple Pay Later is the tortoise in the buy now/pay later race

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2023-06-09 15:01:42  • 5 mins

Apple pay later application on smartphone

Adobe Stock

Any fintech players in the buy now/pay later market who feared the entrance of Apple have had little to worry about so far, as the rollout of Apple Pay Later has been very quiet.

Since launching the BNPL service in March, Apple has offered early access to consumers it selects seemingly at random. Apple said it plans a broader rollout in "coming months," but observers hear very little buzz and see no competitive impact yet.

Apple Pay Later offers borrowers loans of $50 to $1,000 to be repaid in four equal payments over six weeks with no interest, with a linked debit card required for repayment. Mastercard Installments provides the connection to merchants, who will pay Apple a fee when consumers make purchases.

Perhaps the $1,000 limit is why Apple Pay Later didn't merit a mention when Apple unveiled its pricey $3,500 mixed-reality headset this week a product that many people would need to finance.

The initial low visibility of Apple Pay Later contrasts with BNPL giant Affirm, which continues to advertise on thousands of retail partners' websites, and which in recent weeks signed broad agreements with both Worldpay and Amazon to further its merchant reach.

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