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  • Frank Tian

🎉 Apple No Show at BNPL Party

Updated: Jan 28, 2023

Apple Pay Later was nowhere to see in the iOS 16 release.


When can you see it? Apple: Later.


Why the delay?


Per Mark Gurman from Bloomberg, “there have been fairly significant technical and engineering challenges”.


I doubt it.


Splitting a payment into 4 installments, how hard can it be? Plus MasterCard has done the leg work.


Sorry to my technical friends. I oversimplify it.


🟦 What other reasons?


Let’s look at what happened in the last 3 months:


June

Apple announced Apple Pay Later, to be released in September.


🚩July

BIS published a report to warn about the Big Tech risk, which is a regulatory blindspot.


🚩August

Goldman Sachs revealed its Apple Card operation is under CFPB investigation.


🚩September

CFPB released an 80-page BNPL report and signaled its intent to regulate.


🚩Throughout the summer

The UK, Australia, and India all close in on the eventual BNPL regulation.


🚩Meanwhile, it is becoming clear that persistent inflation means “higher and longer” interest rate - the cost of fund challenge for BNPL is not short-term.


Do you still think the Apple Pay Later delay is a mere technical issue?


The bigger issue is Apple’s poor timing of BNPL entry.


And its strategic shift to direct finance play.


Tech is eating the world, but you cannot eat everything by yourself.


🟦 When Apple Pay Later was first announced,


I questioned why Apple was crashing into a party that was almost over.


3 months later, Apple finally got the message.



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