Apple Pay Later: Facing Technical & Engineering Issues

Apple Pay Later is confronting some “significant” setbacks that could slow its launch until next year.

The feature is Apple’s version of a deal now, pay later (BNPL) service, letting you make a payment through Apple Pay and then pay it back in four installments without interest. Unfortunately, apple’s take on a buy now, pay later service may not arrive until next year.

Apple said its Later Pay feature would arrive with iOS 16 when it first announced the program at WWDC in June. But now that iOS 16 is out, Apple Pay Later hasn’t appeared, and the fine print on Apple’s iOS 16 page vaguely says it’s “coming in a future update.”

Apple Pay Later is the only unreleased iOS 16 feature on the page that doesn’t include a timeframe for when we might expect its rollout. Other features, like crucial sharing and no-setup Siri shortcuts, are listed as “coming later this year.”

 “Apple isn’t completely certain when Apple Pay Later will be ready for launch,” and predicts that we may not even see it until iOS 16.4 in the spring of 2023. “I’m hearing there have been significant technical and engineering challenges in rolling out the service, leading to the delays,” Gurman adds.

It’s unclear what these challenges are, but its rollout means Apple will have to take on new financial responsibilities. In June, reports from Bloomberg and CNBC indicated that the company’s subsidiary, Apple Financing LLC, will handle the lending for Apple Pay Later while remaining separate from Apple’s main business.

Apple currently partners with Goldman Sachs to perform credit checks and lending for Apple Card, the company’s Mastercard-based credit card, but it’s bringing these services in-house for Apple Pay Later.

Government regulators are starting to pay closer attention to BNPL services, such as Klarna, Affirm, and Afterpay, as they could potentially risk customers. Research indicates that BNPL customers struggle to make payments and are more likely to overdraft when compared to people who don’t use the service. Once Apple Pay Later’s rolled out, it has the potential to reach even more users than other BNPL services, as the feature will be built straight into the iPhone.

Apple will introduce its take on the ‘buy now, pay later strategy with Apple Pay Later. This feature will bring added to Apple Wallet following the normal departure of iOS 16 later “this fall.”

The Cupertino, California-based tech giant submitted the payment service at the 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference this week, along with an array of other iOS features and two recent laptops powered by the proprietary M2 chipset. The company reports that Apple users in the US will obtain the payment feature first, though it may ball out to other regions later.

Simply put, Apple Pay Later will allow users to purchase a product in installments. Consumers can divide the cost of the bought item into four equal parts that need to be repaid over a distinctive period (up to six weeks). In a blog post, Apple elucidates that users won’t pay interest and no fees if the product is bought with Pay Later on Apple Wallet.

The company also emphasizes that users can apply for Apple Pay Later when checking out with Apple Wallet or Pay. In addition, Apple vows authority over Keys and IDs for secure payments.

The development arrives months after Bloomberg documented Apple’s association with Goldman Sachs for lending credit for Pay Later.

The element would provide Apple and its payment partners an edge over rivals like PayPal, and even Amazon, which began offering the ‘buy now, pay later option with ‘Affirm’ last August. In addition, since iPhones primarily overlook the US smartphone market, the Later Pay feature may entice many users.