Buy Now Pay Later Services are becoming popular, what you should know

Buy Now Pay Later Services are becoming popular, what you should know
Buy Now Pay Later Services are becoming popular, what you should know

Buy Now Pay Later Services are becoming popular, what you should know

A recent study by Bankrate reveals that over half of the consumers using ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ (BNPL) services have encountered issues during their transactions.

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services are reshaping the retail landscape, offering a flexible alternative to traditional credit card payments. These services allow shoppers to defer payments and break down their purchases into manageable installments.

However, a recent survey by Bankrate indicates that 56% of BNPL users have encountered issues with these services. While it may seem like just a series of small payments, experts caution that losing track of the total debt accumulated is easy.

Ted Rossman, a Senior Industry Analyst at Bankrate, notes the significant growth of BNPL services, with major players like Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna, and versions by PayPal and Apple, as well as adaptations by established credit card companies such as American Express, Chase, and Citi.

The appeal of BNPL is powerful among younger consumers, with the Bankrate survey revealing that 40% of Americans have tried BNPL, and 60% of those users have experienced problems at some point.

Rossman emphasizes the importance of consumer awareness regarding the potential pitfalls of BNPL, with overspending being the primary concern. The seamless integration of BNPL options into online checkout processes can obscure the real cost of purchases, turning what seems like a $200 item into ‘four easy payments of $50.’

He also highlights the issue of delinquent payments as a common challenge for BNPL users. Consumers must understand that despite the convenience, BNPL transactions still constitute a debt and require careful financial management.

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options are changing the rhythm of our financial lives, offering payment schedules that deviate from the traditional monthly billing cycle. With payments typically due bi-weekly, adapting to this new cadence can be a challenge.

Experts like Ted Rossman from Bankrate suggest setting up automatic payments to ensure timely transactions without the hassle of manual scheduling. This can help avoid the stress of keeping track of the non-standard payment intervals.

However, it’s not all smooth sailing with BNPL services. Consumers have expressed frustrations over returns and disputes, areas where credit cards still reign supreme due to their robust dispute resolution systems and reward programs.

Before diving into BNPL agreements, it’s crucial for shoppers to thoroughly understand the terms and conditions. These can vary significantly across different providers and merchants, and your credit history could influence the terms offered to you.

While BNPL services offer less regulation, which can be advantageous for some, consumers must grasp the full cost of ownership. The allure of bi-weekly or seemingly low installment payments should not distract from the total amount owed.

As Rossman aptly puts it, BNPL services are akin to power tools: immensely helpful when used correctly, but potentially hazardous if mismanaged. It’s the consumer’s responsibility to wield them wisely, fully aware of their financial commitments.

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Sophia is passionate about Digital Marketing, E-commerce, and travel. I also like photography and writing interesting articles.