As demand for financing services grows, so does the number of apps that allow you to buy now and pay later. Although the global pandemic has had a severe impact on purchasing power, it hasn’t stopped most people from spending their money on things they love.
Apps that allow you to buy now and pay later let you purchase whatever you want, but instead paying the entire amount immediately, you can make payments over time. The installments are generally interest-free in most cases. However, this depends on your payment plan.
These services, known as Buy Now Pay Later, have been gaining popularity. If you’re looking to expand the payment options available on your website beyond standard credit card processing, these apps should be added to your checkout page.
Afterpay, a popular service to buy now and pay later, was established in 2014. It offers services in several countries, including Australia, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and the USA. This service allows customers to split their purchase into four interest free payments.
Retailers love Afterpay because it allows them to set smart credit limits and gives buyers greater control over their purchases. Afterpay lets you pay four equal monthly payments instead of having to pay upfront for large purchases.
The company does not perform credit checks so you don’t need to worry about it. Spending by new users is limited to $500. Afterpay requires you to have a debit or credit card. You also need to be at least 18 years old to sign up. You must also have a minimum order value of $35.
Afterpay is simpler than other buy-now-pay-later services that are linked to credit bureaus. Afterpay offers instant approvals and is suitable to people with lower credit scores or who are unable to get credit-based approvals.
You can use Afterpay instead of a Visa credit card, even if you don’t have credit history. There is no down payment to make; instead, the cost of Afterpay will be broken into four payments that you must pay over six weeks.
Afterpay is supported by more than 3300 retailers across the USA. Afterpay allows you to divide your large purchases into smaller payments that can be paid over a period up to 36 months. The interest rates range from 10-30% APR.
If you fail to pay the amount within the six-week time frame, the company will add late fees ($8) each week to your account and freeze it. However, the late fee is limited to 25% of the total purchase price.
Luxury purchases at major discounts
Credit checks not required
Instant decision on approval
Virtual cards are available
Limits on spending can be increased
Reminders by email and text for payments
There is no fee for clearing the payments on-time
Afterpay can land you in serious debt if you aren’t careful
Late fees rises quickly
Every purchase needs to be approved in advance
It is not as large as other BNPL services
Affirm is a popular BNPL app that allows you to split your purchase into smaller installment payments. Affirm basically offers loans with fixed payments. Affirm doesn’t charge any fees, so users will only have to pay the amount that was originally agreed upon.
Customers can also use the Affirm app to purchase goods online from over 11,000 retailers. Affirm, like Afterpay can help you obtain virtual credit card numbers that you can use to buy online from any retailer that accepts Visa cards.
Affirm’s interest rates are variable. They start at 0% and go up to 30%. This is significantly higher than other credit card providers. The payment schedules can vary and can go up to 36 months. You can also choose to pay in four equal installments.
You don’t need to worry about prepayment fees if you pay your loan early. In the event that you default on your payments, there is no late fee. You don’t need to worry about compounding and interest is fixed.
Experian is one of the three major credit bureaus. Affirm reports to Experian in the event that you are late on payments. This could have a negative impact on your credit score. Affirm also runs a soft credit assessment before authorizing payments.
Affirm, however, is not suitable for building credit. You might not want it if there are other outstanding loans.
Affirm’s maximum purchase limit is $17,500. Each transaction must be approved before it can be done. Affirm automatically draws payments from your bank account according to the terms of your contract.
Affirm does not charge any fees
No-interest loans available
More than 11,000 retailers supported
Do not report to credit bureaus
The interest rate could rise
It might be necessary to do a soft credit check
The buy now, pay later market is not new to Sezzle. Sezzle offers standard financing from many online retailers. The first payment is made at the time the purchase is made. Users must create a Sezzle Account in order to use Sezzle.
If you purchase from a participating retailer you will need to choose Sezzle as your payment option on the checkout page. Sezzle also offers interest-free loans, just like other lenders. You can also build credit over the long-term with their Sezzle Up service.
However, it is only available in the USA and Canada. You can use Sezzle to make larger purchases as it allows you to break down the cost into four installments. The standard repayment period is six weeks.
The down payment is the first installment. The remaining three must be paid every two weeks. Online purchases can be broken down into monthly installments.
Although Sezzle does not charge hidden fees, they may charge you for late payments or if you cancel your order twice. Late fees are $10 per delay.
Sezzle is similar to other BNPL services. However, it doesn’t require a credit check. It is easy to get started and you can use it at more than 34,000 retailers.
Sezzle does not offer a rewards program. You shouldn’t expect any cash back or other benefits. This might not be the right option for you if you have a bad money management skills, as late payments quickly add up.
An ever-growing database of participating retailers
Do not report to credit bureaus
All loans are free of interest (no APR).
You get one free reschedule per order
There are no rewards
Late fees of $10 (higher than many others)
No long-term loans
Slow customer service
Klarna, a Swedish buy-now-pay later service, is available in the USA and UK. It’s also available in Denmark, Germany (Austria), Finland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. They are available in one or more forms in 17 countries.
It was established in 2005 and is one of the most experienced players in the industry. It’s accepted by all major retailers, including FootLocker and Sephora as well as Etsy and Macy’s.
They were the first to create the “Pay in 4” payment plan. You can use it on Amazon and other marketplaces. Klarna allows you to make monthly payments to companies like Apple.
Klarna is a great option if you love online shopping. They have an app for iOS and Android. You can download the app, search for Walmart and start shopping.
Klarna’s most-popular plan is the Pay in 4. However, they also offer a Pay in 30, and a “pay today” option. If you choose one of these plans, there is no interest. Klarna provides financing for up 36 months at a range of 0% to 29.99%.
Klarna is a good option if you’re looking to make a large purchase. For example, you can expect to pay an average APR of 19.99% for standard items if you select six-month financing.
Klarna can also be used in any US store that accepts credit or debit cards. Klarna is intuitive and suitable for those who don’t qualify for credit cards.
Klarna conducts a soft credit check, just like the other names on this page. If you choose to finance, Klarna may perform a hard credit check, which will show up in your credit history.
There is no membership fee
Accepted by almost all retailers
Flexible payment options
There is no interest on Pay-in-4 and Pay-in-30 plans
Mobile app of the highest quality
Conduct a soft credit assessment
All three major bureaus will likely report missing payments.
Late fees ($7 for each delay or $35 if borrowing long-term).
Splitit is a very popular borrowing app. It is different than your typical BNPL service provider. Splitit is extremely easy to use and there are no late fees or interest rates.
Splitit requires that you have a debit/credit card in order to sign up. Splitit authorizes you to make payments and holds the amount of your debit or credit card. You can purchase anything up to $400 if you use a debit card.
Splitit will refuse to process the transaction if you don’t have enough credit to cover the whole purchase. Splitit will reject the transaction if you don’t have enough credit to cover the entire purchase. You only need to pay the first installment. Ecommerce businesses can choose the minimum charge or the maximum monthly installments.
Monthly payments can be paid in three, six, 12 or 24 installments. Automatic payments can be set up so that your credit card is automatically charged each month. Your agreement may include interest and charges from your credit card issuer.
Splitit won’t affect your credit score, so it’s an excellent option. Splitit is only available online. You can’t buy it in stores.
Splitit is a popular online payment method that can dramatically improve conversion rates for ecommerce merchants. Splitit’s internal study found that 67% of shoppers would be more likely to purchase expensive items if they could pay monthly installments.
There are no late or interest fees.
Credit history has not been affected
There are no use fees
Credit checks not required
Prepayments are possible
Klarna’s payment structures are far less than those of Klarna.
The merchants that are listed on their site are also very limited.
The amount is stored on your debit or credit card.
This card supports Visa and Mastercard only.
It can’t be used to build credit.
PayPal Credit is PayPal’s BNPL offering. It works in a slightly different way, but it is still quite good. This “line of credit” is offered by PayPal in conjunction with Comenity Capital, their partner bank.
When you apply for credit, all you need to do is provide your last four SSN numbers and your birth date. You will receive $250 instantly after approval.
PayPal Credit’s greatest asset is its ability to work on any platform that accepts PayPal. You can also defer repaying the amount up to six months, without worrying about interest fees.
PayPal does not charge an annual fee to use its credit line, but they may add a $35 late fee if you fail to make a payment. Although interest rates can be variable, they are generally similar to those charged by credit card issuers.
This is an excellent option for ecommerce store owners. Customers can pay using PayPal Credit if your store already accepts PayPal.
This is another great option to add to your checkout page. PayPal Credit offers users a $10 cashback bonus, which incentivizes them. There isn’t much else.
PayPal Credit conducts an initial credit inquiry like most other services. However, they do not report your activity to credit agencies. You don’t need to be concerned about your credit rating taking a hit.
This is another reason for ecommerce store owners to add PayPal as a payment option to their store.
Bureaus do not require credit reports
You can defer payments up to six months without interest.
Credit worth $250 only
Sign up for Hard Credit
Late payment fees are high at 19.99% APR
No major bonuses
Perpay offers a simple BNPL service, which has been around for a while. Perpay is based out of Philadelphia and offers its services all over the USA. Their website is very simple and provides little information on spending terms.
Perpay, like PayPal Credit, also offers a line credit based on your bank information. This credit can be used to purchase virtually any item you wish. Each week, the company deducts this amount from your bank account in weekly installments.
Perpay offers a dedicated shop that allows you to purchase items from top brands such as MCM, Michael Kors and Apple. The process is simple and items ship quickly.
Perpay can also help you build your credit. The company joined forces with Experian in 2020 to test its new product, Perpay+.
The cost of the program is $2 per month. It will also enroll you in a separate program that reports on your payments and helps users build credit.
Perpay is an easy way to rebuild credit if you have bad credit or are trying to recover. Perpay is a wonderful initiative that allows users to get flexible payment terms and build credit simultaneously.
Perpay+ is the only thing that Perpay does different from other payment options. However, you cannot integrate it on your website as a payment option.
Approval must be sought by all users. The limit can be increased for users who have made timely payments in the past.
Credit building tools for users
All payments are automatically deducted
It is very easy to set-up
There are very few support options
Sometimes, the spending limit approved is extremely low (100-$150 in some cases).
Sometimes orders are cancelled at the last moment.
Customers have reported the company to request more information randomly.
FuturePay is a digital credit option that’s exclusively for ecommerce store owners. This service is a basic, buy-now-pay-later option that allows merchants to increase sales and decrease abandonment rates.
FuturePay integration in your merchant store can increase consumer LTV and attract up to 37% more buyers, according to company research.
FuturePay uses the MyTab checkout system. MyTab can be used on all stores supported by FuturePay. Buyers only need to apply once. It takes seconds for shoppers to be approved and opens up a line credit.
FuturePay might be worth considering because it has a loyal user base which could lead to more repeat purchases. However, there is a performance-based fee. It is a high 4.95% of order value.
FuturePay is available for merchants around the world, but it is only available to US shoppers. This means that if you are not in the US, FuturePay might not work well.
FuturePay transfers money to the merchant’s account directly by ACH. FuturePay is an excellent option if you’re looking for other payment options that can be added to your store.
Customers do not need credit cards.
Instant approval for payments
Flexible monthly payments as low as $25 per month
The website has a reporting function that allows you to track sales and payments.
For every order, there are steep merchant fees of 4.95%
For every $50 in their balance, it charges $1.5 per month.
When compared to other options, it is not very popular with shoppers.
Finally, Zip. Zip, formerly known as QuadPay was a payment method that used the “Pay in 4” formula. This is a popular option for other buy-now-pay-late services. You can break down your payment into four equal payments that are interest-free.
The app must be downloaded first. You can then search for your favourite stores and find what you need. At checkout, select “Pay with Zip” and the app will automatically fill in your payment information.
You must choose the “In-Store” tab to make payment in-store. Choose your payment plan and then add it to Apple Pay or Google Wallet. To fund your purchase, you can use your wallet. For payments, you can also use the Zip virtual card.
You will need to search for the Zip logo in select retailers such as FashionNova and Newegg.
Zip charges $1 convenience fee for each payment. Zip also provides instant approvals, although the company does not do hard checks.
Although it seems simple, the late fees can quickly add up. Depending on where you live, they charge a $5, $7, and $10 initial late fee. You also need to consider any additional late fees or interest charges that your credit card may charge.
You can get interest-free payments
Flexible payment options, online or in-store
Approvals are usually quick
You have the possibility of interest and late fees.
Each purchase requires approval
Zip is not available at every major retailer.
What are the best times to use Buy Now, Pay Later apps?
Managing your money is quite difficult. Money management is becoming more complicated with the rise in popularity of apps that allow you to buy now and pay later. Although the idea of breaking down your payments into flexible installments sounds appealing, it is not uncommon to find yourself making payments every week.
Your accounts might start to run out of money eventually. You should not use these apps if you are making a large-ticket purchase or if you absolutely have to.
However, it’s not all bad news. Perpay is one of the apps that can help you improve your credit score. They report to credit bureaus. These apps can only be used if you have good credit and are able to manage your money properly.
The merchant wins a sale that was unlikely otherwise and the customer receives their product. The app also gets a fee to manage the transaction.
Our analysis included fees, APR and credit reporting, checks, and merchant availability. This allows us to compare these buy-now, pay-late apps.