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Apple Pay Later means Klarna & rivals will need better deals, say analysts
Apple Pay Later means Klarna & rivals will need better deals, say analysts

With the arrival of iOS 16 later this year Apple will begin to allow people to make Apple Pay payments on a buy now, pay later scheme. Payments will be stretched across six weeks, with Apple handling all financing itself. Now, analysts for GlobalData believe that Apple’s entrance into the market could have its positives and negatives.

In a research note seen by iMore, Amrit Dhami, Associate Analyst at GlobalData notes that Apple’s “involvement should encourage more competitors to enter the space and spur more favorable contracts for consumers.” The theory is that Apple’s entry could mean that the likes of Klarna and Clearpay are forced to improve their own products and deals to compete. The potential for Apple to use its influence to “stifle competition in the market” shouldn’t be ignored, they go on to say — something the company is perpetually accused of doing in other areas of its business including the App Store.

It isn’t all positive, though. Associate Analyst Beyza Karakoy believes that Apple’s entry into the buy now, pay later (BNPL) market could see calls for more regulatory oversight, something that it has so far been able to avoid. While Apple is far from the first company to allow buyers to spread the cost of purchases, it’s a big fish that will be impossible to ignore for all concerned.

Apple’s acquisition of British fintech Credit Kudos earlier this year signaled its desire to expand further into financial services and reap the benefits offered by fintech. However, the arrival of big tech will raise new concerns about the lack of regulatory oversight in the BNPL market. Apple’s move will represent a new challenge for fintech companies such as Klarna, Clearpay, and Affirm, which currently dominate the market.

That purchase of Credit Kudos is a key part of the equation for Apple following the news that it will handle all of the credit itself, rather than offload it to a third party.

For users, Apple Pay Later will not only give them a way to spread payments but also put everything into the Wallet app for easier management than some competing companies and systems.

In Apple’s words:

Apple Pay Later provides users in the US with a seamless and secure way to split the cost of an Apple Pay purchase into four equal payments spread over six weeks, with zero interest and no fees of any kind. Built into Apple Wallet and designed with users’ financial health in mind, Apple Pay Later makes it easy to view, track, and repay Apple Pay Later payments within Wallet. Users can apply for Apple Pay Later when they are checking out with Apple Pay, or in Wallet. Apple Pay Later is available everywhere Apple Pay is accepted online or in-app, using the Mastercard network.

Apple announced its Apple Pay Later feature as part of the iOS 16 update on Monday. The WWDC22 opening keynote also saw the arrival of a raft of software updates including iPadOS 16 and watchOS 9. None of those updates, or indeed Apple Pay Later, will be available until this fall.

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Apple Pay Later means Klarna & rivals will need better deals, say analysts

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