What does “Buy Now Pay Later” mean? As the words suggest, it means to buy something now and pay for it later by making payments. Buy now pay later (BNPL) payment plans have been around for years, but they have increased in popularity during the pandemic when more people started shopping online.
I’ve been following and blogging about the BNPL movement for over a decade. When I first started researching buy now pay later companies, it was online stores such as Fingerhut and Gettington that attracted people with bad credit or no credit and offered them financing on name-brand items they wanted with very high-interest rates. QVC and Home Shopping Network (HSN) followed suit.
When PayPal founder Max Levchin founded the financial lender Affirm in 2012, many online stores hopped on board to offer Affirm installment loans for consumers to use at the point of sale to finance their purchases. But Affirm wasn’t the first fintech company to provide such financial services; Klarna was actually founded in 2005 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Since then, several buy now pay later financial services have popped up offering interest-free payment options for purchases at most major retailers online. Ten years ago, I would’ve told anyone that “buy now, pay later” is a bad financial decision due to the high-interest rates, but now most BNPL companies offer low or no-interest options that don’t affect one’s credit.
Buy Now Pay Later Payment Options
We’ve compiled a list of all buy now pay later payment options currently available as well a brief synopsis of each (terms, APR interest rate, late fee) and the top stores that utilize those payment options. We are listing them in alphabetical order to now show favoritism.
|Acceptance Now||acceptancenow.com||Acceptance Now is now Acima.||See Acima.|
|Acima Leasing||acima.com||US (not available in MN, NJ, WI, or WY)||Lease-to-Own||Best Buy|
|Affirm||affirm.com||US||Varies by retailer||Walmart|
|Afterpay||afterpay.com||US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand||Pay-in-4||Reebok|
|Barclay's||Link||UK||Personal loan for big purchases||Wayfair|
|Bread||breadpayments.com||US||Pay-in-4 or Monthly||eLuxury|
|CareCredit||carecredit.com||US||Healthcare financing||Rite Aid|
|ChargeAfter||chargeafter.com||US||Personalized financing from multiple lenders||Lenovo|
|Clearpay||clearpay.co.uk||UK (same company as Afterpay)||Pay-in-4||Wayfair|
|EasyPay||easypayfinance.com||US||Finance up to $5,000 with $0 down; 90-days pay off.||Furniture & Tire stores|
|Fortiva Financing||myfortiva.com||US||Options for less than perfect credit||Electronic Express|
|FuturePay||futurepay.com||US||Line of credit with flexible monthly payments|
|Genesis Credit||mygenesiscredit.com||US||Revolving line of credit up to $4,000||Electronic Express|
|Katapult||katapult.com||US||Lease-to-Own, automatic approval up to $3,500||Ghostbed|
|Klarna||klarna.com||Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, US||Pay-in-4||Saks Fifth Avenue|
|Kueski||kueski.com||Mexico, Latin America|
|Laybuy||laybuy.com||Australia, New Zealand, UK, US||Pay-in-6||Firebox|
|Partial.ly||partial.ly||US||Flexible payment plans||Shops|
|PayBright||paybright.com||Canada (same company as Affirm)||Pay-in-4 or monthly options for larger purchases||The Source|
|PayFort||Link||PayFort was acquired by Amazon Payment Services.|
|PayPal Credit||paypal.com||International||No Interest if paid in full in 6 months on purchases of $99 or more||JCPenney|
|Perpay||perpay.com||US||No credit check required. Helps build credit.||1,000+ top brands|
|Progressive Leasing||progleasing.com||US (Not available in MN, NJ, VT, WI, WY)||Lease-to-Own||Best Buy|
|Quadpay||quadpay.com||Quadpay is now Zip||See Zip.|
|SetPay||Link||US||Installment loan by Synchrony||Electronic Express|
|Sezzle||sezzle.com||US||Pay-in-4||Bass Pro Shops|
|Snap Finance||snapfinance.com||US||Lease-to-Own||Electronic Express|
|Sofort||sofort.com||Sofort is now Klarna||See Klarna.|
|Splitit||splitit.com||US||0% interest. No late fees. Choose your # of monthly payments.||Nectar|
|Store Card||Varies||Varies||Varies||Shop Disney|
|Uplift||uplift.com||US, Canada||Fixed monthly installments with no late fees.||Funjet Vacations|
|Zibby||zibby.com||Zibby is now Katapult||See Katapult.|
|Zilch||payzilch.com||UK, US||Pay-in-6 interest-fee||Anywhere Mastercard is accepted|
|Zip||zip.co||Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, US||Pay-in-4||Revolve|
BNPL Key Terminology
APR = Annual Percentage Rate – this is the actual interest rate of your loan.
B2B = Business to Business. In BNPL instances, the financing would be for businesses instead of consumers.
BNPL = Buy Now Pay Later
Lease-to-Own = An agreement where you (the lessee) make payments to the financial institution (lessor) and the lessee does not actually own the asset until all payments are made and the lease term expires.
Pay in 4 = Pay 25% of the purchase price upfront (1st payment), then make 3 additional equal payments every two weeks, so you make a total of 4 payments. There are usually no fees associated and no interest added.
BNPL Fast Facts
1. BNPL has grown 85% in 15 months
According to PYMNTS.com the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) industry has grown an impressive 85% in 15 months time span. And that article was written in August 2021. I presume the percentage is much higher now.
2. BNPL is popular among millennials
Younger Americans with lower wages are increasingly seeking new ways to buy high ticket items, and buy now pay later platforms allow them to do just that. Read more at CNBC.
3. Top BNPL items purchased
As stated above, people want to buy big-ticket items with buy now pay later financing options. The tops categories purchased with BNPL platforms are BNPL mattresses and BNPL luxury items such as designer apparel and handbags.