Even if you haven’t signed up for the Apple Card, you may soon be able to put your purchases on Apple’s tab. Apple is teaming up with Goldman Sachs yet again to turn every Apple Pay transaction into a potential “buy now, pay later” opportunity, reports Bloomberg — no Apple Card needed.
You know how many online checkout counters across the web tempt you to pay with Affirm or Klarna or PayPal’s Pay In 4 instead of coughing up the full purchase price at the start, then they charge you in installments instead? It sounds like this Apple service will be a direct competitor — with the important distinction that this will be baked into hundreds of millions of Apple devices that many people are already using to pay at gobs of physical stores, too.
You’ll pay in four interest-free installments over two weeks if you pick “Apple Pay in 4” or pay interest over several months if you pick “Apple Pay Monthly Installments,” writes Bloomberg. It adds that there’s no credit check required, and some plans won’t have late fees. The publication doesn’t say when Apple might launch the service or how much interest it might charge.
Apple putting people in debt feels like the ultimate form of lock-in, and it might rub some the wrong way, but the company has a knack for sprucing up boring products in the pursuit of services revenue. If it’s true of Apple Pay Later the way it was true of the Apple Card, there’ll likely be plenty of people who will take Apple’s slightly friendlier terms over the financial industry’s status quo.