Apple allows “buy now and pay later”

The apple brand announced on Monday, June 6, its entry into the market for “buy now – pay later” payment solutions, which have become very popular during the pandemic. In the United States, starting this fall, approved users using Apple Pay can choose to pay for a purchase in four installments over six weeks, “without interest or fees of any kind.” “Apple Pay Later”, the new feature, “allows you to easily view, track and reimburse”, details the press release from the Californian group. Its executives presented Monday a battery of new tools and improvements to its mobile operating system, iOS 16, which will be installed automatically on its smartphones in the fall.

The service will depend on the Mastercard network, but Apple did not specify which bank would be responsible for the credits. The Bloomberg agency mentioned Goldman Sachs last year. The American giant has widely publicized its services and sources of income in recent years, to encourage users of its devices to stay in its ecosystem, from communication to entertainment, including work and online courses. This time it rushes into a breach already well used by other companies such as Affirm (partner of Amazon and Stripe, in particular), Afterpay, Klarna or PayPal.

“Less risky alternative”

For its promoters, this method of financing is a less risky alternative to credit cards, which charge interest that is often complicated to understand and can quickly accumulate. Their use has exploded during the pandemic and partnerships with merchants have multiplied, the latter being willing to pay a percentage of the transaction for purchases that consumers would not have requested to pay in one go. But, in December, an American agency opened an investigation into the risks and benefits of these payment solutions. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said it was “concerned” about the potential accumulation of debt, compliance with consumer protection laws and the use of data provided by companies offering these products. The firm Grand View Research estimates the global buy-now-pay-later market at $5 billion in 2021, and predicts it will approach $40 billion by 2030.

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