Apple Discontinues Apple Pay Later Loans in U.S. Shifts to Global Installment Loan Options

Apple Pay Later, Apple installment loans, Apple financial services, buy now pay later, Apple Pay, Tim Cook, fintech, Apple Pay loans, installment loans, global financial services

Apple has announced the discontinuation of its Apple Pay Later program in the U.S. Starting later this year, users will have access to installment loans through credit and debit cards, as well as third-party lenders, when checking out with Apple Pay globally. Discover the reasons behind this strategic shift and what it means for Apple Pay users.

Apple Discontinues Apple Pay Later Loans in U.S., Shifts to Global Installment Loan Options
Apple Discontinues Apple Pay Later Loans in U.S., Shifts to Global Installment Loan Options

Apple Discontinues Buy Now, Pay Later Loans in the U.S.

In a significant strategic shift, Apple announced on Monday that it has stopped issuing loans through its Apple Pay Later program, which launched last year. This move marks a departure from the company’s efforts to integrate financial services more deeply into its ecosystem. The decision is part of a broader strategy to allow installment loans through third-party companies and credit and debit card issuers globally.

The Announcement

An Apple spokesperson explained the new direction to CNBC: “Starting later this year, users across the globe will be able to access installment loans offered through credit and debit cards, as well as lenders, when checking out with Apple Pay.” This shift will effectively end the Apple Pay Later service in the U.S., which allowed customers to buy products online and pay in four interest-free installments for purchases up to $1,000.

Strategic Shift

The discontinuation of Apple Pay Later signals that not all fintech innovations launched by Apple fit seamlessly with the company’s overall strategy. By integrating third-party services such as Affirm and issuers like Citigroup into the Apple Pay ecosystem, Apple aims to expand the availability and flexibility of installment loans to a broader audience. This change is expected to enhance the global reach of installment loan options beyond the U.S., where Apple Pay Later was previously confined.

The Evolution of Apple Pay

Apple Pay, Apple’s brand for its contactless and online payment software, has prioritized enabling secure and private payments. The company’s foray into the buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) space with Apple Pay Later was an extension of this strategy. However, the program required Apple to handle more of the financial backend, including credit checks and loan decisions, unlike other products such as the Apple Card, which are managed in partnership with financial institutions.

User Impact

For current Apple Pay Later users, Apple has assured that open loans will continue to be managed within the existing framework. Users can still access features to manage and pay off their loans through the Apple Wallet app. However, new applications for Apple Pay Later loans will no longer be accepted, and future users will be redirected to alternative installment loan options facilitated by third-party financial intermediaries.

Global Expansion

The new installment loan offering, set to be rolled out later this year, aims to provide a more comprehensive and globally accessible financial service through Apple Pay. By collaborating with credit and debit card issuers and lenders worldwide, Apple intends to offer more flexible and widespread installment payment options. This move is seen as a way to leverage existing financial infrastructures and expertise to enhance the user experience without bearing the entire financial risk and operational burden.

Background of Apple Pay Later

Apple Pay Later was initially launched to capitalize on the growing BNPL trend, which has been popular among consumers seeking flexible payment options without incurring interest fees. The service was designed to be seamlessly integrated into the Apple Wallet app, allowing users to apply for loans directly within the app and use the Pay Later option during online checkouts.

Despite its potential, Apple Pay Later faced challenges in gaining widespread adoption. The highly competitive BNPL market, dominated by established players like Klarna, Afterpay, and Affirm, coupled with regulatory scrutiny and concerns over consumer debt, may have influenced Apple’s decision to pivot away from directly offering these loans.

The Future of Apple in Fintech

Apple’s decision to discontinue Apple Pay Later does not signal a retreat from the fintech space. Instead, it reflects a strategic realignment towards leveraging partnerships with established financial service providers to enhance the Apple Pay ecosystem. By doing so, Apple can offer more robust and diversified financial products without taking on the complexities and risks associated with direct lending.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, during the annual developer conference at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, highlighted the importance of innovation and adaptability in Apple’s strategy. The shift away from Apple Pay Later is in line with this vision, emphasizing the need to adapt to market dynamics and user preferences while maintaining the core values of security and privacy in Apple Pay.


The discontinuation of Apple Pay Later marks a significant development in Apple’s approach to financial services. By transitioning to a model that integrates third-party installment loan options, Apple aims to provide a more flexible and globally accessible payment solution through Apple Pay. This strategic shift underscores Apple’s commitment to innovation and user-centric financial services while leveraging partnerships to enhance the overall user experience.

As the fintech landscape continues to evolve, Apple’s adaptability and willingness to pivot its strategies will be crucial in maintaining its position as a leader in technology and financial innovation. The upcoming global rollout of new installment loan options through Apple Pay is a testament to this commitment, promising a more inclusive and flexible financial service for users worldwide.

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