Apple extends Buy Now, Pay Later service beta to its own retail staff

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Apple is expanding internal testing of the App Store’s Buy Now, Pay Later service to its retail workers, moving past the company’s corporate employees. While a full public launch is still pending, this latest move could be a sign that the feature is coming out relatively soon. 

This information comes from a Bloomberg report by notable Apple insider Mark Gurman who spoke to some store employees. The current version of Pay Later is still a “test version” so it’s unknown exactly how close it is to the final product. 

Not much was revealed in Gurman’s report other than the implication that the service seems to work as intended. Apple Pay Later, first revealed during the WWDC 2022 event, would allow customers to split the cost of a purchase made on an iOS device across “four equal payments over six weeks, without incurring interest or late fees.” It’s basically the company’s take on Klarna. When released, Pay Later is slated to make its home on Apple Wallet as an alternative payment option during check out. 

The service was originally supposed to launch alongside iOS 16 until Apple ran into some “technical challenges”, according to another report by Gurman. What these developmental hiccups were is unknown, but they may have to do with a “new financial platform” initiative.

As it turns out, those initiatives may be coming in the form of yet another financial service from the tech giant called Apple Pay Monthly Installments, which is being developed in conjunction with Goldman Sachs. The Bloomberg report claims users will be able to “split up the cost of large transactions over several months”. The catch, unfortunately, is that interest will be a part of this new service. Other than that not much is unknown about it as the service hasn’t even been formally announced yet.

Repeating history

Back to the launch date, the reason why some, like Gurman, is expecting an imminent launch is because of Pay Later’s developmental similarities to the Apple Card. Back in 2019, the company also gave its retail employees early access to the Apple Card before rolling out to the public a month later. 

That isn’t to say Pay Later is for sure coming out in March, but it’s worth pointing out that company CEO Tim Cook did recently say the service is “launching soon” in the United States. We asked Apple if it could give us any clues on the release date of Pay Later, but at the time of this writing, haven’t from them yet.

All we can do at this time is wait until the company announces its next Keynote event, which is typically held in the Spring if the last couple of years are any indication. While we have you, be sure to TechRadar’s recently updated list on the best personal finance software for the year to help you manage your budgets. 

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