How Retailers and Consumers Benefit from Buy Now, Pay Later ~ Prodigy Press Wire

How Retailers and Consumers Benefit from Buy Now, Pay Later ~ Prodigy Press Wire



At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last month, the big product announcement was not a new iPhone, MacBook or app. It wasn’t even a new technology. No, Apple’s big announcement was the addition of something called “buy now/pay later,” or BNPL, to the Apple Store.

BNPL is like layaway, except that the customer gets ownership of the product right away. Unlike a credit card, however, payments are fixed and staggered over a short period of time — eight weeks in Apple’s case. Also, there are no fees, provided that payments are made as agreed.

Now, Apple is the biggest gun in the BNPL space, which already includes such familiar names as Klarna, Affirm, PayPal and Afterpay. Amazon also has a hybrid BNPL product, which stretches the purchase over five payments compared to Apple’s four. It may seem counterintuitive — the savings rate surged during the pandemic as government stimulus checks arrived in the mail and consumers canceled expensive vacation plans — but the recent economic downturn, coupled with record inflation, has led to a surge of interest in stretching one’s paycheck.

Yet, according to online coupon site CouponBirds, which recently surveyed 200 businesses, 82 percent of retailers still don’t offer a BNPL option. Although, they probably will be soon, as a recent report published by Global Payments found that the number of merchants cooperating with a BNPL service such as Afterpay or Klarna has more than tripled since 2019.

“As consumers and businesses continue to adapt to new ways of shopping, we believe that new shopping patterns will continue to emerge, making our way of consumption more convenient,” observes CouponBirds. The company says that younger customers have been particularly responsive to BNPL, perhaps because of its prominence on e-commerce websites and at fast-fashion stores. CouponBirds’ own research shows that two-thirds of Americans are more interested in BNPL than they were before the pandemic,…


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