Apple has decided to discontinue its buy now, pay later (BNPL) service, Apple Pay Later, which was launched in the US in October 2023.

This move comes in anticipation of regulatory changes and the company’s strategic shift to new types of installment loans globally.

Apple Pay Later faced persistent regulatory scrutiny

Despite initial expectations of success, Apple Pay Later faced persistent regulatory scrutiny, particularly from the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which has been closely examining the BNPL sector. Apple’s decision to terminate the service is a direct response to the evolving regulatory landscape. Apple is pivoting to a model that offers installment loans through Apple Pay, partnering with credit card companies, banks, and lenders.

The CFPB has been actively investigating the BNPL sector as a result of concerns over consumer risks such as data privacy and excessive debt. Persistent complaints from BNPL customers about refunds and disputed transactions have been a significant factor in regulatory scrutiny, prompting Apple to assure users of its commitment to safety and privacy.

The CFPB’s inquiry into BNPL services and the subsequent May 2024 interpretive rules that mandate key consumer protections akin to those for credit card users, has increased the compliance burden for BNPL providers. By discontinuing Apple Pay Later, Apple is strategically avoiding pending regulatory requirements that could impose additional obligations on BNPL lenders, such as investigating disputes and issuing refunds. The discontinuation of the service in the US will require Apple to communicate effectively with active Apple Pay Later users to maintain customer satisfaction by ensuring a smooth transition to the new Apple Pay installment loan services.

New loan installment service

Apple’s reach into financial services mirrors a wider trend of big tech companies like Amazon, Meta, Google, and Uber offering fintech options of their own. Apple’s new installment loan feature will be available in more countries than the previous service, starting with the UK in partnership with HSBC and Monzo. In the US, it will be supported by Citi, Synchrony, and lenders using Fiserv software, and Apple users will have the option to apply for loans through Affirm at the point of sale with Apple Pay.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

By integrating installment loans into Apple Pay, the company is positioning itself to cater to a broader audience, potentially increasing its user base and transaction volumes. The new service also aims to provide greater flexibility in payment methods, leading to increased consumer spending and loyalty.

Apple’s new service is a valuable customer retention tool as users will be less likely to exit an ecosystem, which aids them in getting and paying off loans. By transitioning to a model that offers installment loans through Apple Pay in partnership with established financial institutions, Apple aims to sidestep the regulatory challenges associated with BNPL services while expanding its fintech offerings and maintaining customer loyalty within the Apple iOS ecosystem.