Last editedApr 20233 min read
The customer makes a purchase using the buy now pay later app
The merchant receives the payment immediately
The customer is then able to pay the amount charged over an agreed period of time
The advantages of a buy now pay later option for customers are clear, as they make it possible to finance purchases via a simple and easily-understood repayment plan. If any credit check is required for BNPL approval, it is usually a soft credit check. This means that it won’t impact the customer’s credit score.
From your point of view as a merchant, working with the right buy now pay later company means customers might make purchases which they would otherwise not have been able to afford. This can lead to a boost in sales and reduce numbers of abandoned shopping carts on your website. An online payment system which includes buy now pay later as an option is likely to improve sales and boost your cash flow.
Choosing the best buy now pay later for small businesses
There are numerous buy now pay later companies to choose from, with slight variations in the service they offer. What follows is a list of some of the most popular, with a summary of how they provide their services.
When a customer uses Affirm, they effectively apply for a loan at the checkout. The type of purchase being made and the credit score of the customer will determine the interest charged, which ranges from 0% to anything between 10%-30%, and usually customers choose the number of payments the cost will be broken down into. At the time of writing, no fees are charged and the credit available can be as much as $17,500.
When your customers use AfterPay, they access a line of credit via the company app. The funds available can then be spent in your store, with the cost of the purchase broken down into four interest-free payments. The purchase needs to be approved by AfterPay, and any missed payments could result in a charge of 25% of the purchase price.
Customers who use Sezzle sign up to the app and can then use Sezzle to divide the cost of a purchase up into four interest free monthly payments. Although there isn’t a specific credit limit, most first-time users will be able to make purchases worth between $50-$100. If the customer misses a payment, their Sezzle account will be deactivated, with a $10 charge for reactivation.
Customers who use PayPal credit are able to apply for a line of credit via their PayPal account. Once this has been approved, they can then choose to pay for goods being purchased with their PayPal credit rather than the balance of their eWallet. There is no interest to pay and the loan term is six weeks, and adding the PayPal Credit option is simple for those customers and merchants who already have PayPal accounts.
Customers using Klarna download the app and, after a soft credit check, can use it to divide payments via a range of payment plans. These plans are as follows:
Four interest free payments
Buy now pay in 30 days
Finance for as long as 36 months
The buy now pay later option is interest free, while the interest charged on monthly financing runs from 0% to 19.99%. The amount of credit offered is up to $1000 for the pay later and four installment plans, and $10,000 for the monthly option. The cost to merchants is $0.30 per transaction, plus 4.99% on interest free options, 5.99% on buy now pay later and 3.99% on longer term financing.
Splitit differs from other buy now pay later companies in that it works through the customer’s existing credit cards, with the full purchase price being charged to the card in small installments over time, ranging from three to 24 monthly installments. The costs to the merchant vary – if they get paid as the payments are taken from the customer’s credit card there is a fee of 1.5% plus $1.50 per installment. Meanwhile, if they receive the full payment up-front, they are charged 3% plus $1 per installment.
Zip is available for both online and in-person purchases, giving customers the option of dividing the cost of goods into four equal payments which are interest free, although each payment does generate a fee of $1.
How GoCardless can help
As the details given above help to illustrate, there are subtle differences between each of the buy now pay later companies. This means different customers will be looking for specific options, as well as making some buy now pay later companies more suited to you as a merchant. Working with GoCardless can simplify the process of deciding which company is right for you – or indeed opting to offer multiple options – because we make it easy to offer your customers installment payment plans on high value purchases. Simply by offering a recurring payment mandate, your business can offer customers the ease and flexibility of buy now pay later without the complication of having to work with a third party.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.