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(Pocket-lint) - Apple Pay Later might not arrive until next year. The upcoming "buy now, pay later" feature, which will let qualifying US customers split their purchases into four equal payments over six weeks, is reportedly being delayed until 2023 due to technical engineering challenges, according to a new report.

Apple announced Apple Pay Later at WWDC last summer. It was supposed to be a new feature in iOS 16 - or an update to it. However, Apple Pay Live is still not live. Reporter Mark Gurman has now claimed Apple Pay Later might launch in spring 2023 as part of an iOS 16.4 update. "This leads me to believe that the company isn't completely certain when Apple Pay Later will be ready for launch", Gurman wrote in his Power On Newsletter. "It's possible the feature won't arrive until iOS 16.4 in the spring. I'm hearing there have been fairly significant technical and engineering challenges in rolling out the service, leading to the delays."

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Apple Pay Later will be a feature in the Apple Wallet app. It'll be available to Apple Pay users who make purchases online and in apps on the iPhone and iPad.  Apple is essentially offering zero-cost installment loans to users. That said, people are "subject to eligibility checks and approvals", and Apple hasn't specified what its eligibility checks include. But there are no interest charges when you use Apple Pay Later, and there are no fees.

For more about how Apple Pay Later will work when it does arrive, see Pocket-lint's guide: What is Apple Pay Later and how does it let you 'buy now, pay layer'?

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Writing by Maggie Tillman.
Sections Apple Apps