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.
Buy Now Pay Later FAQs
If you’re thinking about using a buy now pay later service, you probably have some questions. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about buy now pay later services.
A buy now pay later service is a way to finance your purchase over time. Instead of paying for your purchase all at once, you can make monthly payments.
There are a few benefits of using a buy now pay later service. First, it can help you afford a more expensive purchase. Second, it can help you spread out the cost of a purchase over time. Third, it can help you build up your credit history.
There are a few drawbacks of using a buy now pay later service. First, you may end up paying more for your purchase if you finance it over time. Second, you may be required to pay a down payment. Third, you may be required to pay interest on your purchase.
To use a buy now pay later service, you typically need to sign up for an account with the service. Once you have an account, you can shop at participating retailers and choose to finance your purchase over time.
No, you cannot use a buy now pay later service for every purchase. Some retailers do not participate in buy now pay later programs. Additionally, some purchases, such as mortgages and car loans, cannot be financed with a buy now pay later service.
Yes, there are typically fees associated with using a buy now pay later service. These fees may include an annual fee, a late payment fee, and/or a returned payment fee.
There are a few different buy now pay later services available. Some of the most popular ones include Afterpay, Affirm, and Klarna. Each buy now pay later service has its own terms and conditions, so be sure to read the fine print before using one.
Yes, most buy now pay later services have a minimum purchase amount. For example, Afterpay requires a minimum purchase amount of $35.00. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of the buy now pay later service you’re interested in to see what the minimum purchase amount is.
Yes, you can typically use a buy now pay later service if you have bad credit. However, there may be some limitations on how much you can finance and what types of purchases you can make. Additionally, the fees associated with using a buy now pay later service may be higher if you have bad credit.
If you miss a payment, you may be charged a late fee. Additionally, your purchase may be sent to collections. And, if you’re using a buy now pay later service to build up your credit, missing a payment could negatively impact your credit score.
There is no minimum credit score needed for Afterpay. However, keep in mind that using Afterpay may impact your credit score. Additionally, if you miss a payment, you may be charged a late fee. And, your purchase may be sent to collections. So, use caution when using this service and make sure you can afford the payments.
The main difference between Afterpay and Affirm is that Affirm requires a minimum credit score for approval. Additionally, with Affirm, you may be able to finance a larger purchase than you could with Afterpay. And, Affirm offers different repayment options than Afterpay, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of each service before using one.
The main difference between Afterpay and Klarna is that Klarna requires a minimum credit score for approval. Additionally, with Klarna, you may be able to finance a larger purchase than you could with Afterpay. And, Klarna offers different repayment options than Afterpay, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of each service before using one.
Yes, you can use more than one buy now pay later service at the same time. However, it’s important to remember that each service has its own terms and conditions. So, be sure to read the fine print before using more than one service. Additionally, not every retailer participates in every buy now pay later service.
The best buy now pay later sites may vary depending on your needs. However, some popular options include Afterpay, Affirm, and Klarna. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of each service before using one. Additionally, not every retailer participates in every buy now pay later service. So, be sure to check for participating retailers before using a buy now pay later service.
Amazon offers an Amazon Visa Signature Card with no annual credit card free. See if you’re pre-qualified with no impact to your credit score here. You’ll also get a FREE $50 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval. You can also buy now pay later at Amazon through various BNPL mobile apps including Affirm, Klarna, and Zip.
BNPL Bottom Line
Using a buy now pay later service can have its pros and cons. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of the service you’re interested in, as well as the fine print at participating retailers, before using one. And remember, not every purchase can be financed with a buy now pay later service. Shop at participating retailers and check for fees associated with the service before using it.