Apple Pay Later has finally left the “early access” period of its life, and is now available to all Apple Pay users in the United States. Given the service was first announced last June, with the goal of launching on iOS 16, it’s about darn time.
The idea behind Apple Pay Later is simple. When making a purchase with Apple Pay, you can split the total into four separate payments. The first is paid right away, while the other three are paid at 14 day intervals over the next 6 weeks — and all interest free. If you’ve ever used services like Klarna or Affirm, it’s pretty much the same principle.
If you’ve been part of the Apple Pay Later early access program, then this news will be pretty meaningless — because nothing has actually changed for you. For other Apple Pay users, you should now be able to see the option to “Pay Later” during the checkout process.
Apple Pay Later is available on websites and apps that accept Apple Pay, for purchases between $75 and $1,000 made on your iPhone or iPad.
You can, of course, continue to pay in full if you’d rather get the money side of things out of the way. But considering the program is interest free, and you can already afford to make the payments on time, splitting the total might ease the financial burden ever so slightly.
There are no late fees for missing a payment, though you shouldn’t rely on this to buy stuff you can’t afford to pay for. There’s always consequences to that, and while Apple doesn’t specify them they’re not likely to be good.
There are some conditions before you can start using Apple Pay Later, of course. It doesn’t look like you have to apply anymore, but Apple’s website notes that you need to be at least 18, have a physical U.S. address (not a PO BOX) and have a debit card attached to your Apple Pay account. As is the case with most loan and credit-centric payment plans, you can’t pay for Apple Pay Later purchases on your credit card.
You’ll also need to have two-factor authentication set up, and ensure your device is updated to the latest version of iOS or iPadOS. Apple also mentions there’s a possibility you may have to verify your identity with a driver's license or state ID.
There’s no word on whether Apple Pay Later will be coming to other regions, or even when it might happen. So in the meantime, unless you’re a resident of the U.S., you’ll have to stick with regular old Apple Pay for the immediate future.