At its recent developer conference, Apple previewed a host of new features in its latest iOS update including the launch of Apple Pay Later, Apple's version of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL). BNPL allows consumers to spread the cost of purchases over time by paying in a series of instalments. BNPL services have come under some recent scrutiny due to their lack of regulation. There have also been concerns as to whether consumers fully understand the risks of using a BNPL service. In February 2021 the government announced its intention to regulate BNPL services and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is now working with some of the leading BNPL firms to ensure that their contracts are fairer to consumers and easier to understand. Additionally, some BNPL credit agreements will be visible on consumers' credit reports later this year.
What is Apple Pay Later?
Apple Pay Later allows consumers to spread the cost of purchases over a series of instalments. Apple Pay Later is Apple's version of the popular Buy Now, Pay Later service and could rival the likes of Klarna and Monzo Flex. Apple Pay Later is integrated within the Apple Wallet and is 'designed with user's financial health in mind'.
How does Apply Buy Now, Pay Later work?
Apple Pay Later will allow users to split the cost of an Apple Pay purchase in 4 equal instalments over a period of 6 weeks. Apple Pay Later is built into the Apple Wallet and is therefore easily accessible when making a purchase. Apple Pay will be available wherever Apple Pay is accepted whether this is via in-app purchases or online. Apple says that the Apple Pay Later payments will not accrue any interest or fees but you may be charged a fee by your bank if your debit card has insufficient funds.
Can I get Apple Buy Now, Pay Later in the UK?
Apple Pay Later is currently only available to qualifying US applicants. The Apple Pay Later UK launch date has yet to be announced, however, iOS 16 is expected to be publicly available later this year.
Alternatives to Apple Pay Later
Apple Pay Later has not yet launched in the UK but there are other versions of Buy Now, Pay Later available. Below we list some of the BNPL options currently available in the UK:
- Klarna - allows you to spread your purchase cost interest-free over 3 instalments or you can choose to pay in full up to 30 days later
- Clearpay - spread the cost of your purchase interest-free in 4 instalments over a 6 week period
- PayPal Credit - spread the cost of purchases over £99 with no interest for 4 months
- Monzo Flex - pay for your purchase over 3 interest-free instalments, or you can spread the cost for longer over 6 or 12 instalments
For more information on Buy Now Pay Later and how it works, read our article 'Everything you need to know about Buy Now, Pay Later'.