Apple Pulls the Plug on Buy Now, Pay Later in the US: Is the Era of Easy Credit Over?

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Apple Discontinues its Apple Pay Later Program, Shifting Focus to Third-Party Installment Loans

Apple has announced that it will stop offering its Apple Pay Later program, a buy-now-pay-later service launched last year, and will instead focus on integrating installment loan options from third-party providers like Affirm and traditional credit and debit card issuers. The move suggests Apple is re-evaluating its fintech strategy, prioritizing a broader approach to installment payments while focusing on its core strengths in secure payment systems.

Key Takeaways:

  • Apple Pay Later is discontinued: Users will no longer be able to access Apple’s own installment loan service starting later this year.
  • Third-party integration is the new approach: Apple Pay will allow consumers to utilize installment loans offered by various financial institutions, including Affirm and credit card companies.
  • Global expansion: This shift aims to expand the reach of installment loans to more users worldwide, beyond the U.S. where Apple Pay Later was previously confined.
  • Apple’s focus on secure payments: The company emphasizes its dedication to secure and privacy-focused payment solutions, reinforcing its role in the financial technology landscape.
  • Potential for increased competition: This move could increase competition within the buy-now-pay-later space as Apple incorporates services from a diverse range of providers.

Apple’s Decision to Rethink its Strategy

The discontinuation of Apple Pay Later comes after Apple faced growing competition in the buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) market. Companies like Affirm and Klarna have established significant presence in this sector, offering consumers flexible payment options at online checkouts. Apple’s own program, while seemingly successful, may have struggled to differentiate itself in a crowded market.

Furthermore, Apple’s decision to rely on third-party providers for installment loans underscores the company’s desire to streamline their fintech operations and minimize the complexities of managing a lending platform. By partnering with established financial institutions, Apple can leverage their expertise and existing infrastructure while maintaining its commitment to secure payments.

Apple’s Future in Fintech

Despite discontinuing Apple Pay Later, Apple remains committed to expanding its financial services offerings. The company continues to invest in Apple Card, its own credit card, and Apple Cash, its peer-to-peer payment system. The move towards third-party installment loans aligns with Apple’s broader strategy of providing a comprehensive suite of financial services within its ecosystem.

The Impact on Consumers and the BNPL Industry

The discontinuation of Apple Pay Later might benefit consumers by increasing the availability of installment loan options. Access to a larger pool of lenders could lead to more competitive interest rates and personalized loan terms, providing more choices for flexible payment solutions.

However, the move could also impact the BNPL industry as a whole. Apple’s exit from direct lending may encourage other tech giants to reconsider their involvement in the BNPL market, potentially leading to a shift in industry dynamics.


Apple’s decision to discontinue Apple Pay Later highlights the dynamic nature of the fintech landscape. The company’s focus on integrating third-party installment loans reflects its desire to streamline operations, leverage external expertise, and offer a more comprehensive suite of financial services.

As consumers increasingly embrace flexible payment options, the ongoing evolution of the BNPL industry is likely to drive further innovation and competition, ensuring a vibrant market with a variety of choices for consumers.

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Brian Adams
Brian Adams
Brian Adams is a technology writer with a passion for exploring new innovations and trends. His articles cover a wide range of tech topics, making complex concepts accessible to a broad audience. Brian's engaging writing style and thorough research make his pieces a must-read for tech enthusiasts.