Apple shutting down popular feature just a year after launching in major blow for iPhone users

Apple has shut down a popular feature just one year after launching it in a major blow to iPhone users.

The tech giant pulled its ‘buy now, pay later’ feature from Apple Pay, which let users take out loans for purchases up to $1,000 and pay them off in four installments across six weeks.

While the option is no longer available, consumers who have existing loans won’t be affected.

Apple’s decision to cancel its ‘buy now, pay later’ service comes as it said it plans to introduce a similar program in the fall allowing users to access loans provided by eligible credit and debit card companies. 

Apple announced it was canceling the ‘pay later’ option on Tuesday, but clarified that people who have taken out existing loans won’t be affected. 

‘Starting later this year, users across the globe will be able to access installment loans offered through credit and debit cards, as well as lenders, when checking out with Apple Pay,’ Apple told 9to5Mac.

Instead of working as a lender itself, Apple will focus on helping users secure other loan options that ‘will enable us to bring flexible payments to more users, in more places across the globe, in collaboration with Apple Pay-enabled banks and lenders,’ the company added.

This option will be available in the US with the Discover credit card and retail loan lenders Synchrony Financial and Fiserv Solutions that can be accessed directly through Apple Pay.

The new feature will also allow users to apply for a loan with Affirm – a buy now, pay later lender that offers short-term loans for both online and in-store purchases. 

Users will be able to add the loan option during checkout that will give them the ability to apply for the loan through a credit card and loan service or directly through Affirm.

The new loan feature will still omit any hidden fees, offer zero percent interest and allow users to split payments into four installments to be paid over six weeks.

According to a June survey by LendingTree, about 13 percent of 889 respondents said they had used Apple’s buy now, pay later feature while one in three Americans said they have considered applying for an installment loan.

Users in Australia, Spain and the UK – which previously did not have access to Apple’s buy now, pay later feature – will also have access to installment options starting in the fall.

The 'buy now, pay later' feature (pictured) allowed users to split payments up to $1,000 into four installments that would be paid off within six weeks

The ‘buy now, pay later’ feature (pictured) allowed users to split payments up to $1,000 into four installments that would be paid off within six weeks

Apple rolled out ‘early access’ to the feature in March 2023, issuing the loans itself, but it didn’t officially launch until October.

The partnership with its former competitor Affirm could help the company expand its loan program to offer longer-term installment options, according to JPMorgan analyst Reginald Smith.

‘Affirm does not expect a meaningful impact on FY25 revenue . . . but it is hard to imagine adding a platform of this magnitude doesn’t move the needle,’ Smith wrote last week, according to the Financial Times.

The shift to partner with Affirm and other credit and debit card companies to replace the buy now, pay later option was introduced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in California last week. has reached out to Apple for comment.