Last editedNov 20222 min read
The freedom provided by buy now pay later (BNPL) has revolutionised how people shop online and in-store. For businesses and consumers alike, the ability to take away a product today and pay for it gradually over a period of time without suffering the heavy interest payments associated with credit cards is something they would now probably struggle to do without.
It’s a booming industry that has only grown more resilient as a result of Covid-19, one that’s expected to be worth more than £127 billion by 2023. With so many opportunities, it was always going to be a crowded sector and there are dozens of potential options for businesses to choose from. When considering buy now pay later, UK companies must put in place a strong offering, bolstered with a dedicated smartphone app. But which companies are leading the way for BNPL in the UK?
A Swedish bank that has earned a name for itself as the biggest name in the BNPL business, Klarna recently expanded its operations into Italy, where leading brands and businesses have decided to use its world-leading system. Klarna also recently redesigned its UK smartphone app so that it now covers the entire shopping experience, providing personalised content based on previous behaviours and preferred shops.
PayPal has always traditionally been associated closely with eBay, however, it has now broken away from the online auction house to forge its own path. As far as convenience is concerned, it doesn’t get much more convenient than PayPal, although its BNPL options are a little limited. Currently, customers can make three interest-free payments or automatic re-payments. However, a recent partnership with Starling Bank could open up some exciting new opportunities.
Payl8r is one of the more forward-thinking BNPL apps. The Manchester-based company provides a variety of financing options and is based not on credit history but on affordability. This makes it an incredibly attractive option for students and those without much of a credit history to speak of. The app itself is also incredibly well-designed.
Even though it’s only been around for a few years, Laybuy has managed to build a reputation for itself as a risk-free BNPL solution. That’s because it takes complete responsibility for all payments. It also lets customers make purchases beyond their credit limits by allowing them to pay the difference and spread their remaining payments. While it’s currently only available in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, a recent partnership with Manchester United Football Club seems to suggest a bright future.
5. Curve Flex
What sets Curve’s Flex solution apart from the other players on this list is allowing its customers to pay later for almost any purchase made within the past year. Flex only launched in September last year but it operates from within Curve’s existing app. And anyone who has ever used Curve’s app has nothing but positive things to say about it.
BNPL and GoCardless
GoCardless can also be used by BNPL providers to leverage Direct Debit to reliably collect payment instalments. A successful BNPL system works by allowing businesses to receive recurring payments and allowing customers to pay in instalments.
If a BNPL provider partners with GoCardless they can be assured fast and secure payments, every time. GoCardless also helps with the cost of processing international transactions – card fees, bank fees and foreign exchange conversion fees.
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