Apple Pay Later - WTF(eature)?

So, Apple introduced “Apple Pay Later” and the recent WWDC. At first I thought, ok, cool, giving people 6 months or a year to spread a purchase over could be great for Apple. Then came the kicker: it only gives you 6 WEEKS to pay it off! I’m not alone in my surprise - from the most recent TidBITS emailing:

Apple Pay Later
Two-thirds of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and now Apple wants to help them buy more stuff they can’t afford with Apple Pay Later, which splits purchase prices into four interest-free payments. Which you have six weeks to pay off. Yes, you read that correctly; you must pay off your Apple Pay Later purchases in six weeks, making us wonder what the point is. We could see wanting to space out payments for an expensive purchase like an iPhone or Mac over 12 months, especially if you urgently need to replace a machine. But we don’t see how Apple sticking its toe in the Buy Now, Pay Later industry helps users make smart financial decisions, and it’s not a good look for Apple. What’s next? Apple Payday Loans?

Other WTF(eature) head slappers can be found here:…

I one can’t afford it, save up, buy it later, just make do with the older gear until you can afford it…Many more positives in the article, we carry CCs, ATM cards for the convenience, some give back a percentage, but we try to keep 'em all paid off at the end of the month, but larger purchases have to be planned, us they just don’t happen…

Dang, I included the wrong link in my OP. This is the right one about the "WTF(eatures):…

Two of the comments about Apple Pay Later mention that Apple could make more money off the feature through more transaction fees, or even missed payments and interest charged (though I’m not sure if that is true or not). And of course, if some are goaded into an Apple product purchase who otherwise might abstain, that would help Apple too.

It’s known elsewhere as BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later), and it’s become a very popular way to pay. It’s not an Apple invention, they’re just including it as one of the payment rails they support. There are very good reasons it’s so short term, and that the spacing between payment is what it is. Here’s an issue of Patrick McKenzie’s Bits about Money about it:



Very interesting link, thanks. There are a lot of subtleties in there that I don’t fully appreciate, but it’s clear that there’s a lot more going on than I thought.