Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)

What is BNPL?

Your customer wants to buy a new smartphone, but needs to spread the payment over 3 months. That designer dress is a bit beyond their budget just now but would be perfect for their best friend’s wedding. No problem. With Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) consumers can make purchases and pay in instalments spreading the cost over a few weeks, often paying no interest rate at all.


What’s the big deal?

Paying by instalment is not new. Mail order companies and department stores have been offering it for decades. The magic of buy now pay later (BNPL) is that providers offer shoppers credit online or at the point of sale as a seamless part of the customer journey, assessing creditworthiness in real time for each transaction.

Consumers can take their purchase home, allowing them to try before they buy. Merchants get their money upfront from the BNPL provider, minus a fee. Everyone’s a winner.

How merchants benefit.

Merchants have always known that when they make it easier for shoppers to pay, they will buy more. The breakaway success of BNPL confirms that. According to surveys, a BNPL option raises retail conversion rates 20% to 30% and increases average ticket sizes between 30% and 50%.[1] 38% of merchants report rises in customer loyalty and satisfaction.[2] Fees may be higher than credit cards, but you won’t hear many merchants complaining.

Compared to traditional consumer financing options, merchants can offer buy now pay later (BNPL) for shorter periods and for smaller items such as clothes and beauty products. In the US, McKinsey has found that 39% of BNPL users making a purchase would otherwise have paid with a credit card[3]. Younger shoppers love the option: 37% of Gen Z and 30% of millennials are reportedly users[4]. No surprise then that BNPL could be worth $1 trillion by 2025, according to JP Morgan.[5]

Challenges for BNPL providers.

What’s not to like? Well, BNPL came to the fore during the era of almost zero interest rates. Now that rates are on the rise and economic conditions are tougher, BNPL providers face higher funding costs and increased risks of consumer defaults.[6] However, regulators are stepping up their scrutiny of this sector to ensure high consumer lending standards are maintained.[7]

Further resources

Find out more

Leila Van-Herbert

Sales Team Lead Specialty Retail, Global Sales Vertical, Worldline
Leila is a passionate payments expert and leader with over ten years of experience in the payments industry having worked across multiple verticals and payments geographies. Working with a customer centric approach, Leila can distil complex payments requirements and drive specific customer led outcomes to simplify the payments journey and enhance the customer experience through a consultative sales approach. By delivering dedicated and structured account and relationship management, Leila is able to build strong client engagement, drive innovative solutions and leverage data-based decision making to deliver clear revenue outcomes both at an individual and team level.

Jie Xue

Product Innovation Manager, Solution & Innovation, Worldline
As Product Manager Innovations at Worldline, Jie focuses on understanding emerging trends and their intersections with digital payments, with a consumer-driven approach. She leads various innovation initiatives at Worldline where she helps translate these market needs into proof-of-concepts or innovative product offerings, in areas such as video gaming and retail. Prior to Worldline, Jie has worked in startup and innovations space in Europe and China. She shares a passion for tech and emerging markets.