Earlier in June, Apple announced at their Worldwide Developers Conference that they would be offering a "Buy Now, Pay Later" (BNPL) service called Apple Pay Later with iOS 16.
However, even after the iOS update dropped earlier this month, the new feature has since remained absent for iPhone users, with Apple having added a footnote to their iOS 16 webpage specific to the Pay Later service, which states that it will be "coming in a future update for qualifying applicants in the United States for purchases online and in apps on iPhone and iPad".
According to Mark Gurman – a known Apple leaker and journalist with Bloomberg – it is possible that the feature will not be arriving until the iOS 16.4 update in next Spring, which would be sometime between March and June of 2023.
There is also a possibility that the delay has to do with news from earlier this month of a US consumer watchdog – the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – having plans to start regulating companies that offer BNPL services.
Delaying Apple Pay Later may thus be a cautionary move for the company, as it could instead be opting to wait until the regulations are announced so that their offering can be modified if needed in order to comply with the new rules.
The service itself is an interest-free payment plan that will allow users to split purchases into four instalments over the course of six weeks, with the first payment being made on the day of the purchase and the rest to be paid subsequently every two weeks. This is most likely to accommodate the fact that Americans are generally paid their wages fortnightly, instead of monthly like in Malaysia.
As this will be a US-only feature upon launch, Apple may offer options for payment splits that are tailored towards users in other countries should the service be expanded to locations outside of the US.
There is no word yet as to whether the BNPL feature will eventually make its way over to Malaysia, although the US tech giant did introduce Apple Pay here last month.