Apple is reportedly facing “engineering and technical setbacks” that are pushing the company’s financial service plans further behind schedule.
According to a recent report by Mark Gurman (via Bloomberg (opens in new tab)), this includes Apple Pay Later, a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) service first announced at Apple’s June 2022 WWDC event. Initially due for a September 2022 launch, Gurman puts the delay down to the challenges of creating a “next-generation financial system” to support the platform.
Apple Pay Later (opens in new tab) is designed to offer “qualifying applicants in the United States” the option to spread the cost of a purchase interest- and fee-free over the course of six weeks when using Apple Pay in a compatible online shopping cart, with just a soft credit check.
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CEO Tim Cook confirmed that Apple Pay Later has already been released for testing among certain company employees, implying that a full release may finally land soon, some six months later than expected. Gurman also suggested that it could be introduced as an update to the current iOS 16.3, rather than an upcoming variant like 16.4.
Apple is also rumored to be working on an extended version of this, allowing customers to finance bigger purchases over longer periods, with additional fees and/or interest on top. The company has long relied on third parties for this, including traditional banks and other fintech companies in most markets: a business model it hopes to size down as it handles more processes in-house.
Finally, users of the US-only Apple Card will soon be able to get interest on their Daily Cash rewards through a partnership with Goldman Sachs. Code to support the feature was first spotted in iOS 16.1 (released in October 2022), with the banking giant later publishing its related fine print in December, however several weeks have passed since any movement indicating that this, too, may be experiencing lengthy delays.
Whether you’re a US customer waiting for one of the several upcoming financial services or a global customer waiting for the three-year-old Apple Card to arrive on your shores, it’s unclear what exactly is holding Apple’s dive into personal finance back and when it will finally deliver on its promises.
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