Banking & Insurance - April 26th
Paying back friends for coffee, flicking your partner $20 for movie tickets and transferring money overseas has been made simple and painless thanks to money transfer and payment apps. All it takes is a few touches…– Read more
Banking & Insurance - April 1st
Here at Canstar, we talk to a lot of ordinary Kiwis. Over the course of a year, we canvass the opinions of many thousands of New Zealand adults. It's research that forms the basis of our…– Read more
Buy Now Pay Later - October 4th
The question many of you are asking is, what's the catch with Buy Now Pay Later? And it's understandable. We've been told all our lives that if it's too good to be true, then it probably…– Read more
I know how much I owe on BNPL: 49%
I prefer BNPL to other payment methods: 43%
I buy more goods due to BNPL: 39%
BNPL is the future of credit: 37%
I use more than one BNPL scheme: 33%
I use a credit card alongside BNPL: 25%
I use BNPL because it’s difficult to get a credit card: 12%
It’s hard to talk to a real customer service person through BNPL apps: 10%
I’ve incurred BNPL late fees: 12%
I’m not in control of my BNPL spending: 7%
I have been charged unexpected fees through BNPL: 6%
I’ve struggled to recover unfairly charged costs or fees: 5%
Three to five: 25%
More than five: 1%
I’ve not missed a payment: 67%
Four or more: 3%
Buy now pay later (BNPL) is a service that allows consumers to purchase goods or services and pay for them in instalments over a period of time. It shares some similarities with the previous older lay-by systems. Whereas lay-by involved a store putting goods aside for you and then you paying for them in two or more instalments before taking them home, BNPL services generally involve the provider paying the retailer for the goods upfront, allowing customers to take their purchases home immediately. The customer then pays for the goods in instalments, which go to the BNPL service instead of the store. BNPL services can be used at a growing number of retailers in NZ, in-store or online.
BNPL services are offered at certain retailers as another method of payment, as an alternative to buying something with cash, a debit card, or credit card.
You can usually apply to use BNPL via the provider’s app or website. You then log into your account during an online transaction, or generate and display a purchase code via the app in a store. Alternatively, you can set up an account for the first time during the transaction process at a retailer, and wait to receive approval from the BNPL provider for your spend amount. Approvals for BNPL are generally processed shortly after you provide your details.
Whether or not you can use BNPL depends on whether a retailer is partnered with your service of choice. Some BNPL providers may also do a credit check on you, so you may not be approved if you have a poor credit rating.
BNPL allows customers to buy things without having to take out a traditional loan or, credit card, and without having to pay interest. However, there are often late payment fees and other costs attached, and the payment method could wind up costing you extra money, much like a credit card or personal loan.
Your repayments are typically deducted automatically from the card or bank account you have attached to your BNPL account. This happens at regular instalments – commonly fortnightly, but check with your BNPL provider to confirm the details. If you don’t have enough money in your account at the time of the deduction, the BNPL provider may charge you a late fee, and your bank may also charge you an overdraft fee, or interest if you’re paying by credit card.
Some BNPL services also charge additional fees, such as account-keeping fees, or interest if you fail to fully repay a purchase within a certain time frame.