Apple enters the BNPL market as regulation, competition gets tougher – TechCrunch

In its WWDC keynote, Apple announced a series of changes and updates to its hardware and software. In the mix, improvements to various operating systems and computers are expected – and there are plans to expand its fintech footprint.

Apple has grown as a consumer finance company for a while, most famously thanks to its Apple Pay service and the introduction of branded credit cards in recent years. However, while it has made its mark on the market enough to be important in the consumer fintech market, it is not considered a fintech company on its own.

That could change. During its WWDC keynote, Apple announced a new service called Apple Pay later that will allow consumers to make online and mobile purchases split into four payments over six weeks at the millions of US retailers that already accept Apple Pay. The offering will not include fees or other charges, the company said, requiring only a “soft” credit check and user review. Transaction history with Apple.

This concept should be familiar. Often described as “buy now, pay later” or BNPL, installment payments have become a startup priority in recent years, with companies like Affirm (which has partnerships with Stripe and Amazon). ) use the consumer credit option all the way to the public market. Klarna achieved a epic scale as a private BNPL company and we have recently seen Block buying Afterpay, a BNPL provider and a merger between Sezzle and Zip.

“We are rapidly seeing BNPL providers evolve into more fully featured digital wallets that include ‘payments in one’ in addition to installments, and we have seen traditional digital wallets like PayPal add installment feature. So it’s no surprise that Apple is adding this feature,” Dayna Ford, Gartner’s senior director of analytics, told TechCrunch via email. “BNPL has proven popular with consumers and merchants as a way to increase sales. It has the potential to help drive the use of Apple Pay, and it is a logical extension to their growing financial relationship with Apple users.”

“Banks, lenders, and merchants need not see Apple Pay Later as a threat but as an opportunity to find their own niche in what has become the payment standard.” CEO Jifiti Yaacov Martin

TechCrunch has reported on countless BNPL startups around the world, each pursuing scale with modest model variations, sometimes focusing on specific verticals or forms of segmentation. the other client. How will all these BNPL-focused vendors perform as Apple moves deeper into their markets? We get an early look at what investors are thinking, at least, when Affirm’s stock sold off after the Apple news.

But that’s just one company, one outcome. What about skins like Afterpay and Affirm? Will Apple news upset their apple carts? And should we consider the potential impact of Apple’s news on smaller, regional or niche BNPL players who have raised a lot of capital over the past few years? TechCrunch wants to find out.

Race, contest

It should be noted that the BNPL sector has come under some pressure in recent months. Stock price after confirmation came back to earth After a period of investor popularity, Klarna was forced to change her fundraising hopes, cut its valuation to pursue new capital.

Company still on the defensive. TechCrunch wrote about the economics of the BNPL world hereif you want to go deeper.

For a better handle on how Apple will impact the well-funded, if slightly weak, market, TechCrunch reached out to – and received feedback from – many of the major vendors in the BNPL space, including Affirm , Afterpay and Splitit. Klarna declined to comment.

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