Apple is reportedly looking at ways to take a bigger bite out of credit cards by introducing paying in instalments to Apple Pay.
Apple Pay Later is, according to Bloomberg, something the company is currently working on internally. Like the Apple Card, it will be backed by Goldman Sachs, but it won’t require Apple’s own credit card to work, and is aimed at standard Apple Pay – the kind accessible via iPhones, Apple Watches and Macs.
The company is reportedly aiming to let users stagger instalments in two ways. The first, internally branded “Apple Pay in 4”, will allow users to make four interest-free payments spaced two weeks apart. Alternatively, users will be able to purchase items in instalments over several months, but with interest applied. It’s not clear what this rate of interest will be.
The report adds that users can put the payments on the credit card of their choice, and that no credit check will be required. Some of the plans won’t have processing or late fees, apparently, meaning only the cost of interest will apply on longer-term payment plans.
In short, it sounds like Apple is looking at a way of rivalling the likes of Affirm and Klarna in allowing customers to split payments, making products that would normally be too expensive accessible to consumers. The advantage Apple has, of course, is that Apple Pay is already baked into several hundred million iPhones around the world, making the barrier to entry significantly lower.
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While paying via instalments can lead to people taking on debt they can’t afford and ultimately doing themselves harm in the long run, such systems can prove invaluable to those facing an unexpected bill that they can’t afford to pay in one go.
That said, it’s not a done deal. While Bloomberg says Apple is actively working on Apple Pay Later, it’s still in development and it could be changed or cancelled ahead of launch.