Best Buy Now Pay Later Platforms

Contributor, Benzinga

Also called store financing, a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) service is a way for consumers to buy goods on credit and pay for them later in equal installments. BNPLs allow you to spread the total cost of the goods into smaller and more manageable portions. 

Unlike credit cards, BNPL services are growing in popularity as they let customers acquire goods without interest. These companies join forces with merchants to offer customers the option to spread out their payments over the course of installments. 

On the date each payment is due, the company will automatically deduct the monetary value of the installment directly from your bank account. It’s that easy! 

Why Use a Buy Now Pay Later Platform?

These platforms enable consumers to buy goods that they would otherwise have to pay for in full. Some of the additional benefits of using a Buy Now Pay Later platform are as follows.

Convenience 

Unlike credit cards, Buy Now Pay Later platforms are easy to set up and use. All you have to do is create an account, link it to your debit card account, purchase goods, and pay for your purchase in installments. Also, these platforms rarely perform serious credit checks, making it easier for you to get short-term loans right away.

Affordability 

Buy Now Pay Later platforms are more affordable than other credit instruments. Credit cards come with an annual fee on top of interest rates, but many BNPL platforms don’t charge any interest. However, there often are late fees applied to your account if your payments are late. So, if paid on time, there are no extra costs to using BNPLs.

Ease of Purchases

Ease of purchase is the best benefit of a Buy Now Pay Later platform. By using a BNPL platform, you can buy goods that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford in a single transaction. By breaking your payments down into installments, you can spread a huge purchase into smaller transactions, which will help you maintain your cash flow and stay within your budget.

What To Look For in the Best Buy Now Pay Later Platform?

Buy Now Pay Later services can make your life easier if you know how to use them properly. When opting for a service, you should check out the following factors to decide on the best Buy Now Pay Later platforms.

Ease of use

Buy Now Pay Later platforms are easy to use no matter how tech-savvy you are. A service that claims to be the best BNPL platform should be simple and straightforward. 

It should make it possible for customers to purchase goods hassle-free without any inconveniences. The best Buy Now Pay Later platforms should also allow you to sign up quickly, link your debit or credit card with ease and start shopping in seconds.

Availability

The best BNPL platforms also prioritize accessibility, meaning they are available to the customers at all times and anywhere. It means that these platforms should be accessible not only via your computer but also through your mobile app as a way of providing even more flexibility. 

Many BNPL platforms extending their services to in-store purchases are getting popular with the customers. And if they’re available offline, all the better. Check if the BNPL service you are looking for has this feature.

Reasonable interest charges

Depending on the type of Buy Now Pay Later service you use, it may or may not charge interest to customers. Most BNPLs are interest-free, whereas the merchants that offer point-of-sale loans provide on-the-spot loans from a third party that does charge interest. 

But other merchants might find a middle ground between these two options by offering an interest-free period at first and start charging interest once the period ends. At the end of the day, merchants will charge a penalty fee if you fail to pay your installments on time. Make sure the BNPL service that you choose will only charge customers reasonable interest rates if any at all. 

Consumer safety

Since your customers will need to provide their personal information and credit card details when using BNPL services, your BNPL service of choice must place safety as its number one priority. While some of the Buy Now Pay Later platforms don’t report on-time payments to credit bureaus, they might also be mishandling personal information or failing to employ industry-standard security measures. It is always good to check the data usage policy and security systems of all BNPL programs. Once you look into these details, choose the service that puts consumer safety as the top priority.

Best Buy Now Pay Later Platforms

With BNPL service mushrooming every day, it is perfectly natural to get confused about which service to choose. So, we’ve listed some of the best Buy Now Pay Later platforms we think you should strongly consider! 

Afterpay

Afterpay is Australia’s largest BNPL, as well as the industry’s pioneer and frontrunner. With over 50,000 retailers partnered with Afterpay, it provides customers with a smooth shopping experience.

The best thing about Afterpay is that it doesn’t charge any interest rates, even on late payments. It is available via both browsers and mobile apps. It can also be used when purchasing from many different retail partners, and it does not require a check of your credit score. Afterpay is also available to use for in-store purchases.

Afterpay charges a late fee which is comparatively higher than the late fee of other BNPL services. You have to pay a $10 fine for each late payment, and if you don’t pay that balance back within seven days, Afterpay will charge you another $7 on top of the original $10 late fee.

As for the cost, there is no fee for using Afterpay as long as you pay your installments on time. You pay back the loan over the span of four equal installments, with the first installment due at the time of purchase and the other three spaced out equally after that. 

Rating: 4.8/5

Klarna

Klarna is very similar to Afterpay. It has over 200,000 retail partners in more than 17 countries. Klarna is an interest-free option that allows you to repay your installments over time without accruing additional charges.

A major detail that makes Klarna one of the best Buy Now Pay Later platforms is its flexible payment schedule. You can choose the payment schedule that fits your needs best. From there, you can find a way to pay back your installments over the course of 36 months. 

Klarna also offers the option to put your repayments on pause temporarily as a way of avoiding late payment fees. However, pausing your payment schedule is not free so you should expect to be charged each time you want to pause your payments. 

Klarna also performs a credit check when you sign up with the platform. There is also a minimum purchase cap, and if you default on your payments, Klarna may charge the total remaining amount to your card. Also, Klara can possibly disable your account as well, which will hurt your credit score.

There is no fee for using Klarna, aside from late payment fees and fees accrued if your payments bounce. As long as you pay your installments on time, you will only spend the amount of your initial payment. 

Rating: 4.6/5

LatitudePay

Another BNPL service worth considering is LatitudePay, which is very similar to Afterpay. However, it does come with a credit limit of $1,000.

LatitudePay doesn’t charge interest, and you only have to pay 10% of the total transaction upfront. You can pay the rest over the course of nine weekly and interest-free installments. Signing up on LatitudePay is also very easy and fast.

LatitudePay performs a credit check during the application process, so if you default on your payments, it will negatively affect your credit score. As for costs, LatitudePay is free unless you miss a payment. Late payments will cost you a $10 late fee that can be increased up to $50 on a single purchase.

Rating: 4.5/5

Affirm

Affirm is another popular Buy Now Pay Later platform. In fact, it’s one of the largest BNPLs in the world. Affirm helps customers spend more sustainably but it’s different from the other BNPL options because it charges interest on the loans it provides.

Affirm doesn’t apply any late payment fees or extra charges aside from interest. It also comes with a flexible loan payment schedule ranging anywhere from three to forty-eight months depending on the size of the loan. 

Affirm does affect your credit score, but if you pay on time, you can use your on-time payment history to increase your credit score. However, if you miss payments, Affirm can negatively impact your score. 

The amount of money that is made available to you via Affirm will depend on your creditworthiness. Affirm can charge an interest rate up to 30% APR, but your exact interest rate will depend on the exact amount of your loan.

Rating: 4.25/5

ZipPay

ZipPay is another interest-free Buy Now Pay Later platform that you can use for both online and in-store purchases, including bill payments. ZipPay offers two payment options. 

There’s ZipPay for purchases under $1,000 and ZipMoney for loans that exceed $1,000. Interest is charged on ZipMoney purchases after three months, while ZipPay remains interest-free for the entire duration of the loan. 

One of the best things about ZipPay is that you don’t have to pay the installments upfront. ZipPay will pay for the purchase in full on your behalf. ZipPay also lets you choose from flexible repayment schedules, meaning you can even pay as low as $10 per installment. 

ZipPay does perform a credit check, so if you default on repayments, your credit score will be affected. As for the cost, ZipPay does not charge interest but you can incur late fees on loan payments that aren’t paid on time. 

For each payment you miss, ZipPay will charge $6 per month until you catch up on payments. Also, you will accrue an additional $5 late fee if you don’t make payments within 21 days of the payment due date. They also charge a 1.5% payment processing fee if you choose to pay your bills with ZipPay.

Rating: 4.1/5

Credit Cards are the Past, BNPL is the Future

Buy Now Pay Later services are going head-to-head with credit card providers. Since they allow people to receive interest-free loans, the popularity and number of BNPLs have risen dramatically over the last few years. 

All in all, the many different Buy Now Pay Later platform options only differ from each other in a few ways, like the duration of the payments, late payment fees, and credit limits. And if used correctly and carefully, these services will help you increase your purchasing power without additional costs. 

Integrating these services with your online store or brick-and-mortar business can be instrumental when looking to increase your sales volume. So, get started today and find the best BNPL platform for you!