A cart is full of beautiful clothes which you keep looking at but dare not click the buy button, as you have maxed out your credit card, or the Reformation dress that’s the cutest but for $180 and its way out of your budget right now. Sigh! We all have been through this dilemma at least once. But thanks to the ‘ Buy now, pay later ’ or BNPL as it’s widely known you can finally click on the buy button without having to worry about paying right now.
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What is Buy Now, Pay Later or BNPL and How it Works?
In case you are wondering what BNPL is, how it works, which are the retailers offering this service read along to get all the information you need.
BNPL is a service that does exactly what it says, it lets you buy stuff and pay for it later by breaking up payments so you don’t have to drop cash all at once or end up with a high credit card bill. The best part of being the instalments are interest-free. When you choose to pay through BNPL you get approved on the spot because these services usually don’t perform credit checks. This makes it accessible to everyone even the ones who have a poor credit score.
Benefits of Buy Now, Pay Later
Using BNPL has made brands and products accessible that were once unattainable. It is also a smart option for people who are strict with their spending or want to overhaul their wardrobe as it lets you plan what you can buy, how much you owe, and when you owe it back.
Paying through BNPL is not going to make you feel guilty of impulse buying or going a little over your budget since you don’t have to pay it all at once.
Also, using a BNPL service is a great option for emergency purchases that you don’t wish to put on a Credit Card, or swipe a Debit Card and have funds instantly removed from your checking out. Using BNPL allows you to maintain a better cash flow. If you are wondering why not use a Credit Card instead, remember the CCs add interest rates which makes you accrue more debt in the long run, while BNPL has strict due dates which are usually biweekly or monthly, this makes sure you don’t blow off your payments.
Now that you know how BNPL works, let’s have a look at the major retailers providing this service.
Some of the major retailers which offer BNPL are Amazon, Walmart, Target, and eBay.
As there are few BNPL service providers they all partner with different retailers, to see which stores you can shop, check out the website of the BNPL service provider you are using and browse through the list. Some of the stores you can buy now and pay later are
- American Eagle.
- Steve Madden.
- Sunglass Hut
- Urban Outfitters.
- Ulta Beauty.
- Free People
- Fenty Beauty.
These are just a few of the retailers which offer BNPL service, you can also use it for purchasing electronics, appliances, fitness and wellness products, travel and entertainment.
The three big names which offer BNPL services are listed below, you have probably come across these names while checking out on popular sites you normally purchase on. Here is all you need to know about them before you get started.
The Top 3 Service Providers
QuadPay lets you buy online and in-store from anywhere. All you need to do is install their app, link your payment card and start shopping. They will split any payment into 4 instalments for in-store and online purchases. Your linked debit or credit card will be charged in 4 instalments over 6 weeks. While shopping in-store you can still pay with the QuadPay App by simply sign-in and selecting the in-store tab.
To get started with QuadPay is simple you need to enter your cell phone number to set up, and if approved, simply start shopping.
Pros of using QuadPay
- Instant Approval
- No hidden fees
- In-store option.
Klarna is a Swedish service provider founded in 2005, with the sim of making it easier for people to shop online. They offer three payment options which are
- Instalments plan which allows you to pay for items in four interest- free instalments. You will be charged once the item ships, not at the time you place your order.
- Pay in 30 days lets you opt for a one-time payment in full, 30 days after the item is shipped. Basically, you pay for your order in full one month after you receive the item you purchased.
- Financing for your shopping with easy 6-36 months financing option with an annual interest rate. You need to complete a simple 4 – step credit application and get approved right away, and payback in monthly instalments.
Choose the right mode of payment for you by selecting any of the three options while checkout using Klarna. All of these options are available through the Klarna App for any store.
Klarna lets you shop at any online retailer through the Klarna App while giving you benefits like
Pros of Klarna
- Shop now and pay later.
- Amazing deals.
- No interest.
The only con of using Klarna is they do not have in-store payment option like QuadPay.
Afterpay made headlines in 2017 for offering a straightforward method that allows you to shop and pay for your purchase in four interest- Free instalments which are due every two weeks. Just browse your favourite stores online and choose Afterpay as your payment method at the checkout by instantly creating your account and completing your purchase.
Pros of using Afterpay
- 4 easy payments.
- Nothing extra to pay with hidden fees.
- Instant approval.
- Three orders at a time.
The only drawback while using Afterpay is it doesn’t offer in-store payment.
Now that you know which are the leading BNPL service providers and the payment options they offer doesn’t mean you can go on a shopping spree, as most BNPLs keep you in check with spending caps and warnings. While they are no interest added on late payments, they do add late fees so make sure you read the fine print.
BNPL programs do report to credit bureaus, so you can’t slack in payments. In fact, one of the major plus points of using BNPL is you can use it to establish a good credit history by paying everything off on time.
To conclude BNPL services are a great alternative to Credit Cards. As you don’t have to wait for approvals it’s let’s you make emergency purchases without emptying your checking balance and adding to your debts. Just make sure you know your repayment terms, how many payments you are supposed to make and when to avoid late fees and interest.