Basically buy now-pay-later (BNPL) are digital layaway plans (without the waiting) that mainly targets, Generation Z and Millennials. Some popular lenders includes, Afterpay & Klarna. These financial integrated companies allows consumers to shop at major retailers. And payback loans in 4 interest-free bi-weekly installments. Sounds like an awesome deal, right. But what are shoppers, really giving up?
Buying things you don’t need on layaway for comfort or to boost morale has been the theme of 2020 pandemic. Despite, the downfall of the U.S economy, retail spending is still booming. Lenders like Afterpay and Klarna, keep shoppers, shopping. Even if they don’t need to, its fun. Consumers spent $347.26 billion online, up 30.1% from $266.84 billion for the same period in 2019, according to the latest Digital Commerce 360 analysis of U.S. Online shopping.
The Upside Is Instant Gratification
Before we dive into the financial perils of BNPL, let’s touch briefly on the good things about BNPl. In a research study analysis conducted by the Motley Fool, most shoppers, preferred, alternative payment methods over credit card interest rates. In fact, buyers, made bigger purchases outside their budgets using BNPL, and borrowed additional money without it affecting their credit scores.
How BNPL Works
After online shopping is completed. Choose Afterpay, Klarna or Quadpay as your payment method at checkout. Next, create your account and complete the purchase. Cha-Ching! Keep in mind, if a missed payment occurs, your lender will charge interest on your balance. And if you don’t make your payment for 30 days or longer, your credit score drops.
Awful, Financial Lessons for the Young & Broke.
Luxury fashion and beauty retailers, like Jimmy Choo, Lululemon, Gap, Pandora, SHEIN, Designer Shoe Wear house (DSW) are big hits for Klarna and Afterpay services, and others ones alike. The quirky perils of BNPL plans are solely designed for consumers on budgets, or simply lower income levels. Shoppers get addicted to the instant gratification; the clicking of buttons and the freedom to splurge on clothes, shoes, bags, perfume, and jewelry. Almost anything can be purchased when customers acknowledge the four-bi-weekly interest-free payment plan.
A report from PYMNTS.com reveals that 87% of consumers aged 22 to 44 are interested in monthly installment plans similar to the ones offered by BNPL services. And 40% of millennials and 57% of Gen Xers have already used such services.
BNPL Are Designed For Extreme Spenders (To Keep Up With The Jones)
Retail financial lending companies like Afterpay are brilliant. But for consumers, it creates addictive spending, creating more debt for unessential things, especially during a pandemic. Although, some purchases are reasonable in desperate measures, like professional clothes for a job and so forth. But the problem with BNPL, coincides with companies literally preying on consumers (with less financial freedom and will) to spend obsessively. It is simply irresistible, for consumers.
Kimberly Palmer, a personal finance expert with Nerdwallet noted, ” While it’s tempting to pay for a purchase with one of these loans, “doing so can result in greater costs over time.” The interest or fees can add up to be as high as 30 percent.