Apple and its Apple Card partner, Goldman Sachs, plan to launch a new pay-in-installments service for all Apple Pay purchases reportedly known internally as “Apple Pay Later.” It resembles other “buy now, pay later” offerings from companies like Affirm Holdings and PayPal.
In order to pay in installments, the consumer effectively takes out a loan. Apple will tap Goldman Sachs Group, which has handled Apple Card credit transactions since 2019, as the lender, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. But the new set of payment plans will not require Apple Card use, it said.
Apple Pay Later: How will it work?
Let’s say you use Apple Pay on your Apple device to buy something. When the new Apple Pay Later service is in place, you will see two options. One is to pay for the purchase with four interest-free payments made every two weeks. The other is to pay over a several-month period with interest, Bloomberg’s sources said.
The four-payment, interest-free plan is known internally as “Apple Pay in 4″ (similar to PayPal’s Pay-in-4 service). The plans where you pay over a longer period, with interest added, are reportedly called “Apple Pay Monthly Installments.”
To take part, users must follow an application process using the iPhone Wallet app, which will also serve for managing payments. Applications won’t require a credit check, and some plans may exclude late fees and processing fees, Bloomberg reported.
Use your own credit card
Currently, Cupertino lets people pay for Apple products using monthly installments when they purchase using the Apple Card. The new service expands that type of payment-over-time scheme to any Apple Pay transaction using any credit card. Purchases can be made in brick-and-mortar stores or online.
As far as interest rates Apple Pay Later users might face, Bloomberg couldn’t say. Some “buy now, pay later” interest rates run as high as 30%, but others come in lower.
Separately, Apple is testing a feature that would allow users to create temporary, digital Apple Pay Later credit cards for individual purchases, Bloomberg said.
A potential boon to Apple Pay
As anyone might speculate, Bloomberg suggests the new payment plans could help increase adoption of Apple Pay, seeing more people using their iPhones or other devices to purchase things. Apple gets a piece of every Apple Pay transaction, and the convenience of “buy now, pay later” might cause the transaction volume rise.
Meanwhile, Apple’s entry into this particular sector seemed to ding others competing in the field. Affirm’s share price fell 10% Tuesday on the news. PayPal suffered similar losses initially but ended the trading session down only slightly. Another competitor, Afterpay, dropped nearly 10% in overseas trading Wednesday morning.
Not set in stone
Bloomberg’s sources told the publication that plans for Apple Pay Later were still unfolding and could be changed or canceled at any time.
By way of background, Apple previously said an impressive 85% of all U.S. retailers already accept Apple Pay. Apple Pay Later would be one of the biggest changes to the service since it came out in 2014. It came along shortly after Apple added peer-to-peer payments.
Notably, Apple purchased a company last year offering technology letting a smartphone receive payments by tapping another phone or credit card against its back. That could be another upcoming feature in the world of Apple Pay.