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Apple Enters BNPL Arena

by News Desk

Naturally, the vast majority of Apple’s publicly streamed WWDC keynote on Monday was geared for developers, as well as consumers eagerly tuning in to learn what’s in store for the company’s software and hardware. But one retail-related announcement stood out amid the slew of refinements.

In essence, the company has gotten into the Buy Now, Pay Later game by baking the service into Apple Wallet and Apple Pay.

“Apple Pay Later lets you split the cost of an Apple Pay purchase into four equal payments spread over six weeks with zero interest and no fees of any kind,” explained Corey Fugman, senior director of Wallet and Apple Pay. “And Apple Pay Later is available everywhere Apple Pay is accepted — in apps and online.”

That will be more places than ever, according to Fugman. He pledged in an earlier announcement that “starting this month with tap-to-pay on iPhone, millions of merchants across the U.S. can accept contactless payments directly on iPhone with no additional hardware or payment terminal needed. Beginning with apps from these payment providers, tap to pay on iPhone enables small merchants and large retailers to use iPhone to securely accept payments.”

Apple’s intent on replacing physical wallets with its digital version, with support for driver’s licenses in 13 states and ID cards. These will be accepted in places like select TSA security checkpoints, as well as supporting apps that require proof of ID or age verification. Only necessary details will be shared to preserve privacy, the company noted.

As iPhone users grow more accustomed to using their Apple Wallets, relying on them more for payments, including the new Apple Pay Later, looks like an easier sell.

As for Apple Pay, the feature set gets another expansion with a new post-transaction experience: Order tracking. “Merchants will be able to deliver detailed receipt and tracking information directly to Wallet, making it easy to get the latest information on all of your Apple Pay orders delivered securely and privately to your device,” Fugman continued.

“Apple Pay order tracking will be offered at millions of merchants through e-commerce platforms, starting with Shopify.”

The Apple Watch Series 7
Courtesy image

These new features join others across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Macbook laptops — including a new lockscreen experience for the iPhone; sharing, collaboration and multitasking capabilities; hefty computer processing powers for graphics work and gaming thanks to the company’s latest M2 processor, which will head to the Macbook Air and Macbook Pro 13-inch; more health, fitness and wellness features for the Apple Watch, including more advanced sleep tracking, as well as dynamic watch faces; and other iPad enhancements for creative professionals, such as Reference Mode.

The latter should appeal to people who use the tablet for design work. The iPadOS 16 feature “meets the color requirements in workflows like review and approve, color grading and compositing, where accurate colors and consistent image quality are critical,” said Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering.

The iPad will offer new features for creative professionals.
Courtesy image

Undoubtedly, people hoping to see some indication of Apple’s much-anticipated mixed reality headset and reported realityOS platform were disappointed. There was no whiff or tease of the technology, which would take the company into a brand new category and give its 34 million-plus developers a new arena to play in.

But the sheer volume of reports and leaks — including recent revelations that Apple is working with Hollywood directors to create content — suggest that the company may yet have one more thing to showcase before the year is over.


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