Glossary: BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later)

What is Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)?

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) is a financial model that allows consumers to make purchases and defer payment over time. In BNPL transactions, customers acquire goods or services immediately and choose to spread the associated payments across scheduled installments, typically without incurring interest if the payments are made within a specified period, usually between four and six weeks. BNPL services are commonly offered by fintech companies, rather than traditional lenders, and are designed to provide consumers with increased flexibility and affordability in managing their expenses. This payment method has gained popularity for its convenience and ability to cater to various consumer preferences and financial needs.

Buy Now, Pay Later – why merchants embrace BNPL

As demand for BNPL has increased, merchants have integrated Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) into their point of sale. Advantages include:

  1. Increased conversion rates: BNPL can attract more customers and encourage higher-value purchases by offering a flexible and convenient payment option.
  2. Wider customer base: BNPL appeals to a broader audience, including budget-conscious shoppers and those who prefer alternative consumer finance methods, expanding the potential customer base.
  3. Competitive advantage: Providing BNPL services gives merchants a competitive edge by staying aligned with evolving consumer finance preferences and offering a modern, customer-centric shopping experience.

By embracing BNPL, merchants can create a more inclusive and accommodating shopping experience, ultimately driving customer satisfaction and contributing to the overall success of their businesses.

Limits of BNPL – why Buy Now Pay Later isn’t enough

There are limitations and disadvantages of only offering Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL), these include:

  1. Applicability to smaller ticket items: BNPL is often more applicable to smaller ticket items, limiting its use to merchants offering higher-value transactions.
  2. Regulatory compliance: The BNPL industry is subject to evolving regulatory frameworks. Merchants must stay informed about regulatory requirements and ensure compliance, which may involve additional administrative efforts.
  3. Lack of choice and personalization: BNPL is a very specific and limited type of consumer finance that doesn’t meet the needs and preferences of all customers for all purchases. Customers increasingly expect consumer finance choices at the point of sale that cover long and short-term installments, private-label credit cards, lease-to-own, and more.
  4. Integration challenges: Integrating BNPL services into existing systems and checkout processes requires time and resources, making it difficult to replace a provider or add more consumer finance choices.

In navigating these limitations, merchants should carefully assess the compatibility of BNPL services with their product offerings, target market, and overall business strategy. Adopting a multi-lender financing strategy meets the needs of a larger customer base and offers redundancy.

How ChargeAfter Elevates the BNPL Experience

ChargeAfter’s embedded finance platform enables merchants to manage their lending offer across the financing journey – from application to approval, to post-sale management. The embedded finance platform supports merchants to easily integrate a diversity of lending products into all points of sale, including BNPL, installments, revolving, and lease-to-own. The embedded finance platform offers the freedom to easily add a lender and provides a seamless customer experience.