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With Apple Pay Later, Apple may take another stab at the PayPal model


Apple Pay on an iPhone and Apple Watch.
Enlarge / Apple Pay on an iPhone and Apple Watch.

Apple

Apple will continue to expand beyond traditional technology projects with a new feature the company is internally calling “Apple Pay Later,” according to a new report in Bloomberg.

With Apple Pay Later, users making either retail or online purchases with Apple Pay will have the option of paying over time rather than entirely up front. Users will not need an Apple Card (the company’s recently launched credit card service) to take advantage of Apple Pay Later, according to the report.

Apple will offer two payment options. One is dubbed “Apple Pay Monthly Installments,” and it would allow users to pay off the loan with interest over a long period in—you guessed it—monthly installments. The other, called “Apple Pay in 4” internally, will let users pay for purchases with four interest-free payments due every two weeks.

Users will be able to end their payment plans by paying the amount off in full, if they wish and are able to.

Bloomberg’s sources did not share the interest rate Apple plans to charge, and they did not share any insights about whether all or only some users who apply to use the service will be approved. The sources did say that users will apply via the Wallet app on their iPhones and that they’ll have to share a copy of their identification to do so. They also said that a credit check will not be involved in this process.

This new product might seem like an odd fit for Apple, but it’s actually only the latest in a number of forays by the company into the world of consumer financial products. The most notable such foray is Apple Card, a digitally managed, contactless credit card.

Further, several competing tech companies already own and operate products similar to Apple Pay Later.

Over the past several years, Apple sought to offset slowing iPhone sales by introducing new services that increase the lifetime value of its customers. That said, iPhone sales picked up significantly with the launch of the iPhone 12 late last year.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly pointed to the company’s services (Apple Card, iCloud, Apple Music) and wearables (Apple Watch, AirPods) businesses as the vanguards for growth at the company in the immediately foreseeable future.



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