Bloomberg's Mark Gurman claims that Apple Pay Later has encountered "significant" obstacles that may force the rollout to be postponed until next year. This function allows you to make a purchase with Apple Pay and then pay it off over the course of four equal monthly payments with no interest charged.
When Apple unveiled Pay Later at WWDC in June, it said it would be available with iOS 16. However, now that iOS 16 is available, Apple Pay Later has yet to make an appearance, and the fine print on Apple's iOS 16 page merely states that it will be "coming in a future update." Gurman notes that the only unreleased feature of iOS 16 listed here without an estimated release date is Apple Pay Later. There is a list of features that will be "coming later this year," such as key sharing and Siri shortcuts that require no setup.
In fact, according to Gurman, "Apple isn't completely certain when Apple Pay Later will be ready for launch," so we might not even see it until the release of iOS 16.4 in the spring of 2023. According to what Gurman has heard, "fairly significant technical and engineering challenges in rolling out the service" have been the root of the delays.
It's unclear what these difficulties are, but implementing it will force Apple to shoulder additional costs. Bloomberg and CNBC both reported in June that Apple Financing LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Apple, would handle the lending for Apple Pay Later. For Apple Card, the company's Mastercard-based credit card, Apple currently works with Goldman Sachs to perform credit checks and lending, but it will bring these services in-house for Apple Pay Later.
Government regulators are paying more attention to BNPL services like Klarna, Affirm, and Afterpay because of the potential threat they pose to consumers. The data shows that BNPL users are more likely to overdraw their accounts and have difficulty making their monthly payments. Since Apple Pay Later will be integrated into the iPhone, it has the potential to attract a wider audience than current BNPL offerings.