Tim Cook says Apple Pay Later will still launch - just not yet

Tim Cook at WWDC 2019
(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Apple has confirmed it still aims to launch its own Buy Now Pay Later scheme later this year, despite growing concerns that ongoing delays might have meant the project's cancellation.

Apple Pay Later was first announced in June 2022, but has suffered multiple delays and setbacks since then. It was initially expected to launch alongside iOS 16 back in September 2022, but now looks set for release some time in 2023.

The company's official iOS website currently states that Apple Pay Later is, "coming in a future update" - but now the company's CEO appears to have shed some light on when this may be.

Apple Pay Later, soon

Speaking to CNBC around the company's Q1 2023 financial results, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that plans to launch the service are still underway - although he was unable to put a concrete date on the board.

“It will be launching soon,” Cook noted, with CNBC saying he had also revealed Apple employees were beta testing the service.

Built into Apple Wallet, and available both online and within apps, Apple Pay Later is set to be available as a payment option for high-cost products alongside paying in full whenever a user checks out with Apple Pay or Wallet.

The service is built on Mastercard's network, and gives users a clear view of exactly what payment amounts are expected, and on which date. Users have the option to pay early to clear a balance if wanted, with Apple saying the tool is "designed with users’ financial health in mind".

Apple has been trying to get into the financial services industry for some time, as it looks to offer its customers a full range of products alongside its popular hardware, such as the iPhone, iPad and Mac lines.

Apple's Tap to Pay on iPhone service launched in February 2022 in a significant show of support for small businesses everywhere, allowing thousands of them to accept payment via iPhone. 

Initially only available in the US, Tap to Pay on iPhone uses NFC to securely complete and process transactions, and will work on the iPhone XS and newer models.

The company recently announced Tap to Pay is now an option on the iOS apps for PayPal and Venmo, meaning merchants who already use these services will have more ways to accept payment without the need for cash.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.