Apple Pay Later Faces Significant Developmental Headwinds, Could be Delayed to 2023
Apple announced a bunch of new features on their iOS 16 keynote, including new tools for Mail, and updates to messages among other things. Apple also announced Apple Pay Later, which is essentially a Buy-Now-Pay-Later option in the Apple Wallet. But now, iOS 16 has already been released, and Apple’s Pay Later feature is still nowhere in sight.
Apple Pay Later provides users in the US with a seamless and secure way to split the cost of an Apple Pay purchase into four equal payments spread over six weeks, with zero interest and no fees of any kind.3 Built into Apple Wallet and designed with users’ financial health in mind, Apple Pay Later makes it easy to view, track, and repay Apple Pay Later payments within Wallet. Users can apply for Apple Pay Later when they are checking out with Apple Pay, or in Wallet. Apple Pay Later is available everywhere Apple Pay is accepted online or in-app, using the Mastercard network.4
– Apple Newsroom
Earlier the service was rumored to start sometime this year, but now, according to Mark Gurman, Apple is going to delay the feature’s release to next year. Apple could release it with the iOS 16.4 update, which is also coming sometime in 2023. Although, according to Mark, even Apple is not certain when Apple Pay Later will be ready for launch, so even the 2023 date is not set in stone. Apparently, Apple is facing ‘significant‘ technical and engineering challenges in the feature’s development.
It’s surprising to hear Apple is having a hard time bringing BNPL options to the Apple Wallet, since several other significantly smaller companies have been offering Buy-Now-Pay-Later financing for some time now. There’s a chance these delays could be from regulatory challenges too. In fact, to enable the BNPL option, Apple set up a subsidiary, Apple Financing LLC, which is going to perform some tasks of a traditional bank, like running soft credit checks on people when they apply for the Pay Later service.