Buy now, pay later – you may have seen that option while checking out online. PayPal, Klarna, Affirm are some financial tech companies encouraging consumers to pay off their purchases that way with installments, often free of interest. That sets them apart from credit card companies, but now Mastercard wants in too.
Buy now, pay later is popping up in unlikely places, said Sheridan Trent, a research analyst with the Strawhecker Group.
“I took my dog to the vet a couple of weeks ago. And besides sitting in the waiting room, I noticed that they have a buy now pay later option if you couldn’t afford your treatment, you can pay it off in four installments,” she said.
Credit card companies and banks see an opportunity to attract younger, maybe debt-averse consumers, said Ted Rossman, an analyst with CreditCards.com.
“I think some of it is rooted in the fact that so many young adults have student loans, and they’re worried about more debt,” he said.
As bigger financial institutions get into the space, Rossman said smaller buy now, pay later companies could look like good acquisitions.
“I think there’s going to have to be some consolidation,” he said.
Based on a survey from Strawhecker, most people paying in installments do have credit cards, but see the buy now, pay later option as more responsible.
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