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Apple Joins the ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ Party

Companies like Affirm and PayPal popularized the idea of buying a product in the moment, and paying for it over time. The groundbreaking accessibility allows consumers to make purchases even if they don’t have the lump sum at the moment, a feature that other companies have eyes on. But it’s not just any company. Apple is now working on a new service that will let consumers pay for any Apple Pay purchase in installments over time. Even if you haven’t signed up for the Apple Card, you can potentially still use Apple’s new service, known as “Apple Pay Later”. Per Bloomberg, the service will use Goldman Sachs Group as the lender for the loans needed for the installments. Goldman Sachs has been Apple’s partner for the Apple Card credit card since 2019.Consumers will have the choice to pay in four interest-free installments over two weeks if you pick “Apple Pay in 4” or pay interest over several months if you pick “Apple Pay Monthly Installments”.It feels like many of us are already in debt to Apple, considering the amount of pricey gadgets the company has convinced us to buy. But, the new buy now pay later option will ultimately convince more users to take the plunge and sign up for the Apple Card, and at the end of the day, that’s the objective. 

Walmart Tests 100% Self-Checkout Store in TX

Retailers are constantly reimagining their store layouts as well as other innovations to perfect the customer experience. Catalyzed by the pandemic, contactless self-checkout has been a popular test subject among retailers, and Walmart wants to take this a step further. Walmart is testing an all-self-checkout Supercenter in Plano, TX at one of its largest local stores. It’s calling the process “hosted checkout” because employees are standing by to help if customers need it.Hosted self-checkout calms the fears of some 70% of shoppers, who said that self-checkout has made in-store shopping easier, but the same number are worried that increased automation will lead to retailers cutting jobs, per a June Retail Brew/Harris Poll survey. The Dallas Morning News points out that Kroger has been testing all-self-checkout at a small urban store on Cedar Springs in Dallas, but the sight of no cashier lanes in a store as big as Walmart’s Plano Supercenter stocked with more than 120,000 items and surrounded by suburban rooftops is daunting.The publication also points out that Walmart had opened its first all-self-checkout superstore in Fayetteville, Arkansas, last summer, but Plano is a much bigger test market. Target, Kroger, Costco, and plenty of others have recently upgraded their self-checkout processes, but not to the extent that Walmart is attempting.

US Shopify Sellers Can Soon Accept Facebook Pay

Facebook is taking (yet another) big step to expand its payments platform. The company has announced plans to break out Facebook Pay from its own ecosystem to facilitate transactions across the web. Not long after credit card companies dropped out of its Libra cryptocurrency project, Facebook launched its payments system for use across the main site, as well as WhatsApp and Instagram. But now, just like Google’s stored cards and Amazon Pay, Facebook Pay is opening itself up for use in transactions with participating retailers. Shopify merchants are first in line to add the system on their sites, with others to follow after it launches in August.When users visit a supported seller, they’ll see a Facebook Pay button allowing them to complete a purchase with the saved card or PayPal details. This also means that there will be a lot of logo competition that Facebook has to battle at checkout. Of course, as The Verge points out, this isn’t just an easier way for retailers to get paid with cards customers have already stored in their Facebook profiles, it’s also a way for Facebook to get even more of that juicy consumer data.