New on the Market: Apple Pay Later

This photo shows a phone using Apple Pay Later.
Photo courtesy of Apple

Apple announced the upcoming launch of Apple Pay Later — its buy now, pay later service — this week at its annual developer conference in California. Apple Pay Later allows users to make purchases with Apple Pay and spread four payments over six weeks. With no interest or fees, Apple Pay Later can help break expensive purchases into more manageable installments. Apple Pay Later will become available later this year with the release of iOS 16.

The rise of buy now, pay later services has enabled consumers to make purchases without the hassle of applying for a credit card or another type of credit, all from a smartphone or computer. Apple Pay Later joins a field with many buy now, pay later options, including AfterPay, Klarna, Affirm and PayPal.

Using the Mastercard network, Apple Pay Later will split purchases into four equal payments over six weeks, with the first payment due at the time of sale. There are no interest or fees, making Apple Pay Later a powerful tool for handling purchases without taking a big hit to your wallet.

As with other buy now, pay later services, it’s important to make sure you can afford the payments within the timespan. Spreading a purchase over six weeks is welcome but may not work as well for your budget as paying over six months or a year. You’ll likely pay interest but some services, such as Affirm, offer this option, which could make larger purchases easier.

The Apple Pay Later service can be used wherever Apple Pay is accepted and will be included in the iOS 16 update, which will be available to all users later this year. You can use Apple Pay to pay wirelessly in-store using your iPhone or Apple watch or online with your Apple Wallet.

Michael Archambault is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder specializing in technology.