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(Pocket-lint) - Apple has entered the "buy now, pay later" market with Apple Pay Later, putting it at odds with existing competition such as Affirm and Klarna.

With Apple Pay Later, you can check out at any store, app, or site that supports Apple Pay and split the cost of your purchase over four payments. Here is everything you need to know about Apple Pay Later, including when you can get started using it to make your next big purchase. 

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What is Apple Pay Later?

Apple Pay Later is a "buy now, pay later" feature in Apple Pay. It lets you split the cost of any purchase made with Apple Pay into four payments over six weeks.

Where can you use Apple Pay Later?

Apple Pay later is available everywhere Apple Pay is accepted. The contactless payment system allows you to make purchases in physical retail stores and in mobile apps and on the web from your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. Apple Pay is an important part of Wallet - the mobile app where you actually store digital versions of your credit cards, debit cards, and even the Apple Card so you can checkout with Apple Pay and Apple Pay Later.

Stores that support Apple Pay Later

If a store's website or app lets you checkout with Apple Pay, you can use Apple Pay Later to make your purchase and pay for it over time at no additional cost. For developers and merchants, Apple Pay Later requires no integration. It just works using the standard Apple Pay implementation, Apple said.

How does Apple Pay Later work?

When you checkout at a store, you will be offered the option to checkout with Apple Pay if the store supports Apple's contactless payment system.

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How to use Apple Pay at checkout

When you use Apple Pay, it will prompt you to authenticate your identity on your Apple device via Touch ID or Face ID. Once verified, it will ask you to either pay for your purchase in full or to pay later. When you choose Pay Later, you will see how much is due today and what your payment will be every two weeks. 

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How to manage payments and track orders

Upcoming payments are managed through the Apple Wallet app. It lets you track what's due and when.

After you've placed your order, Apple Pay offers order tracking, enabling stores to provide you with detailed receipt and tracking information directly in Apple Wallet. Apple said Apple Pay order tracking will be offered at "millions of merchants" through e-commerce platforms starting with Shopify. 

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Does Apple Pay Later charge interest?

No. Apple said there are zero interest charges when you use Apple Pay Later.

Does Apple Pay Later have any fees?

No. There are no fees associated with Apple Pay Later purchases.

Does Apple Pay Later do a credit check?

With Apple Pay Later, Apple is essentially offering zero-cost installment loans. It said those are "subject to eligibility checks and approvals". The company hasn't specified what its eligibility checks include, but Pocket-lint will update this guide once more information about Apple Pay Later becomes available.

When will Apple Pay Later be available?

Apple Pay Later is a new feature in iOS 16. The public beta of that free software update is due this summer, followed by an official rollout in the autumn. 

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Writing by Maggie Tillman.