Apple stops offering buy now, pay later loans in U.S.

Apple CEO Tim Cook gestures during the annual developer conference event at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, U.S., June 10, 2024. 

Carlos Barria | Reuters

Apple said on Monday that it has stopped issuing loans through Apple Pay Later, its buy-now-pay-later program that launched last year.

The move comes after Apple said it would start allowing installment loans later this year in its Apple Pay checkout process through third-party companies, such as Affirm, and credit and debit cards from issuers, such as Citigroup.

Apple said it would no longer issue Apple Pay Later loans, which enabled customers to buy products online and pay in four interest-free installments, at prices up to $1,000. The discontinuation is a sign that not every new fintech feature or product that Apple launches becomes a success or fits in with the iPhone maker’s overall strategy.

“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,” an Apple spokesperson told CNBC. “With the introduction of this new global installment loan offering, we will no longer offer Apple Pay Later in the U.S.”

Apple said users who wanted installment plans at checkout would gain access to them through other financial intermediaries in more countries around the world than they would with Apple Pay Later, which was only available in the U.S.

Apple said its priority with Apple Pay, the brand name for its contactless and online payment software, was to enable secure and private payments. Users with open loans will continue to have access to Apple Pay Later features to manage and pay their loans, Apple said.

Before it was discontinued, Apple Pay Later enabled users to apply for loans within the iPhone Wallet app, and approved users would see a “Pay Later” option when checking out online.

The process notably involved Apple taking over more of the financial backend than some of its other products, like Apple Card. For the program, Apple made some of its own credit credit checks and loan decisions, instead of having those handled entirely through financial partners. Apple’s loans were issued by a wholly owned subsidiary.

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