Apple Pay Later Discontinued, Other BNPL Options Take Its Place

Scott Daly

a white dice with the word pay on it

Apple’s decision to stop offering Apple Pay Later is a big change in its financial services strategy. While current users with active loans won’t be affected, Apple is now focusing on new features and partnerships to improve the overall Apple Pay experience. The discontinuation affects the “buy now, pay later” service, Apple Pay Later, which was only available to U.S. consumers since October. This service allowed users to split purchases into four payments over six weeks without interest or fees.

The discontinuation is effective immediately, which will affect many who have come to rely on this service. The decision to phase out Apple Pay Later comes as the company prepares to introduce a new loan program. This new program aims to provide a broader range of financial services to its users, potentially replacing the discontinued feature. As Apple adapts, users will need to explore alternative solutions for managing their purchases.

For those who had existing Apple Pay Later plans, Apple has assured that ongoing transactions will continue to be honored. New users will have to look for other options, with Apple’s forthcoming services being a potential choice. The shift reflects Apple’s continuous effort to improve its consumer offerings.

Apple Pay Later Ends

Apple Pay Later Comes to an End

Apple Pay Later, the buy now, pay later (BNPL) service introduced in 2023, will no longer be offering new loans starting June 17, 2024. Existing loans and purchases remain unaffected, and users can manage them through the Wallet app.

Behind the Decision

While Apple hasn’t explicitly stated the reasons for discontinuing Apple Pay Later, it appears to be part of a broader shift in the company’s financial strategy. This move comes amid Apple’s efforts to expand its financial services offerings, particularly in partnership with Goldman Sachs.

Focus on New Features

Instead of Apple Pay Later, Apple is prioritizing new features for Apple Pay, such as installment loan offerings from eligible credit or debit cards, and integrating with Affirm, a popular BNPL provider. These features are expected to roll out globally later in 2024.

Implications for Users

Users with active Apple Pay Later loans can continue to manage and repay them as usual. However, no new loans will be issued through the service. Apple’s decision to discontinue the service may disappoint some users who found it convenient, but the company’s focus on expanding its financial offerings could lead to even more useful features for Apple Pay users in the future.

Apple Pay Later LoansNo longer available (as of June 17, 2024)Existing loans unaffected and manageable through Wallet app.
Installment LoansComing soon (globally in late 2024)Will be offered through eligible credit or debit cards.
Affirm IntegrationComing soon (globally in late 2024)Allows users to access Affirm’s BNPL services through Apple Pay.
Existing LoansUnaffectedUsers can continue to manage and repay existing Apple Pay Later loans through the Wallet app.

Key Takeaways

  • Apple Pay Later is discontinued immediately.
  • Apple plans to launch a new loan program soon.
  • Existing Apple Pay Later transactions will still be honored.

Overview of Apple Pay Later Discontinuation

Apple is discontinuing its Apple Pay Later service, which allowed users to pay for purchases in four installments with no interest or fees.

The Fate of Apple’s BNPL Service

Apple Pay Later, launched in the U.S. in 2023, offered interest-free installment loans through the Wallet app. Users could split their purchases into four equal payments over six weeks without paying fees. This service was designed to simplify payments using credit and debit cards.

By June 2024, Apple announced it would no longer offer new loans through Apple Pay Later. This decision comes as the company plans to introduce new financial features and services. Apple has not elaborated on the specifics of these new offerings. Users currently enrolled in Apple Pay Later will honor their existing payment plans. This service was part of a broader trend among tech companies entering financial services.

Implications for the BNPL Market

The discontinuation of Apple Pay Later affects both consumers and BNPL providers. Other lenders in the U.S. will see less competition, potentially changing market dynamics. This may impact fees and loan terms for consumers seeking installment loans.

For consumers, the end of Apple Pay Later means fewer options for interest-free installment plans within popular digital wallets. They might need to look at other BNPL services that could come with different terms and conditions, such as fees or less favorable repayment schedules.

The exit of a major player like Apple could prompt other tech companies to re-evaluate their financial products. This might lead to more innovation or shifts in strategy within the BNPL space globally. For industry observers, watching these changes unfold will be crucial to understanding the future landscape of digital finance.

Impact and Alternatives for Users

The discontinuation of Apple Pay Later impacts users’ ability to split their purchases into installments. Users must find new ways to manage their finances and adapt to different payment options.

Consequences for Apple Pay Users

Ending Apple Pay Later limits how users can manage payments for larger purchases. Previously, users could split purchases into four payments over six weeks with no interest or fees. Now, users will need to rely on other Apple Wallet features or external finance options to manage their spending.

Purchases over $1,000, previously manageable via Apple Pay Later, will now require different finance strategies. This change may prompt users to reassess their budgeting practices and discover alternative financial tools to sustain their spending habits in a stable manner.

Alternative Financing Options

With Apple Pay Later gone, users can explore other financing options. Affirm offers a similar service, allowing installment payments. Goldman Sachs, Apple’s partner for the Apple Card, offers payment installment plans. Users can also use traditional credit and debit cards for flexible payments.

Installment loans from banks or credit unions can help users manage larger purchases. Till Apple introduces any new services, users might access these external options. Checking the terms and conditions of each alternative is crucial for maintaining a secure and sustainable financial approach.

Other Options

While Apple Pay Later is discontinued, users still have a wealth of other BNPL options to choose from. Some popular alternatives include:

  • Affirm: A widely used BNPL service that offers flexible payment plans for various purchases.
  • Klarna: Another popular choice, known for its seamless integration with online retailers.
  • Afterpay: A well-established player in the BNPL market, offering interest-free installment plans.
  • PayPal Pay in 4: PayPal’s own BNPL service, allowing users to split purchases into four interest-free payments.
  • Sezzle: A newer option that focuses on responsible spending and financial well-being.

Each of these providers has its own unique features and benefits, so it’s worth exploring them to find the best fit for your needs and spending habits. With the growing popularity of BNPL services, you’re sure to find a suitable alternative to Apple Pay Later that helps you manage your finances and enjoy your purchases.

Potential Shifts in Consumer Payment Preferences

Changes in available payment options may shift how consumers prefer to pay. Users might lean more on the Apple Card, which has payment plan features, or explore other secure and private payment options. Debit cards and regular credit cards might see increased use for everyday transactions.

Additionally, consumers may prefer using flexible payment methods that offer built-in installment plans. As users adapt to new methods, they may prioritize options that provide both ease and security. This shift could lead to higher engagement with Apple’s payment and savings products, like the Apple Savings Account, making daily transactions smoother.