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July 7, 2021

Buy Now, Pay Later Usage Increases as Provider Options Expand

(New York, NY) Buy Now, Pay Later plans have reinvigorated the centuries old installment payment concept, now allowing shoppers to split payments for small and large purchases alike, particularly online. Auriemma Group has been researching this space in their Payments Report study since 2018, as new providers entered the space, rolling out their own unique spin on the offering.

Buy Now, Pay Later has gained wide visibility in recent years thanks to celebrity and influencer led marketing campaigns. Providers such as American Express and Klarna enlisted everyone from Tina Fey and Snoop Dogg to more niche personalities like Celeste Barber and Trixie Mattel in expansive ad campaigns. Since this advertising push, other bank-branded solutions (like Citi Flex Plan and My Chase Plan), and offerings from FinTechs such as Affirm, PayPal, QuadPay, Afterpay, and Sezzle have entered and redefined the space.

The widening provider field has created increased awareness, opportunity, and exposure for these products. Between Q1-2019 and Q1-2021, Auriemma’s research shows a 10+ percentage point increase in debit cardholders offered a Buy Now, Pay Later plan in-store or online. And most of these consumers find the plans attractive.

“It has become common for shoppers to see a Buy Now, Pay Later option at checkout,” says Jaclyn Holmes, Director of Research at Auriemma Group. “Online, these buttons become subtle reminders for consumers, and reinforce them as a viable payment option, especially when offered at checkout for a brand they trust.”

Take rates on Buy Now, Pay Later also increased significantly over the last couple years. More than half of those offered Buy Now, Pay Later in a physical store (56%) or online (51%) say they enrolled in the option, again representing 10+ percentage point increases since Q1-2019. These increases parallel the expanding field of options available to shoppers at the point of sale.

While merchants have traditionally been the most common provider of installment plans at the point-of-sale, more recent data from Auriemma Group shows that the FinTech Buy Now, Pay Later providers offering these short-term solutions are closing the gap. However, merchants will continue to play an integral role in the adoption of these providers – over half of debit cardholders agree that being partnered with well-known or trusted retailers is paramount when it comes to feeling comfortable and secure in using the product.

“While merchant trust is playing an influential role in Buy Now, Pay Later adoption, these offerings are also impacting the merchant’s ticket size and shoppers’ likelihood to purchase with a merchant again,” says Holmes. “This shows that a positive Buy Now, Pay Later experience can create a halo effect for the brands offering them. And with Buy Now, Pay Later becoming increasingly common and recognizable, consumers may come to expect it as a payment option rather than a sweetener.”

Survey Methodology

The Payments Report

This Auriemma Group study was conducted online within the US by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma Group (Auriemma) in March 2021 among 800 adult debit cardholders. The number of interviews completed for both is sufficient to allow for statistical significance testing among sub-groups at the 95% confidence level ±5%, unless otherwise noted. The purpose of the research was not disclosed, nor did respondents know the criteria for qualifying. The average interview length was 19 minutes.

About Auriemma Group

For more than 35 years, Auriemma’s mission has been to empower clients with authoritative data and actionable insights. Our team comprises recognized experts in four primary areas: operational effectiveness, consumer research, co-brand partnerships, and corporate finance. Our business intelligence and advisory services give clients access to the data, expertise and tools they need to navigate an increasingly complex environment and maximize their performance. Auriemma serves the consumer financial services ecosystem from our offices in New York City and London. For more information, call Jaclyn Holmes at (+1) 646-454-4200.

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