Consumer attitudes towards personal finance have shifted in recent years.
With credit card usage amongst 18-24-year-olds being half that of their 25–34-year-old peers1 It's clear that there’s a change in appetite for credit products.
Today’s consumers care about having the tools to take control of their finances and want flexibility. The trust in and transparency of financial products has never been more important, particularly after a difficult year for consumers.
What is Buy Now Pay Later?
Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) is a deferred payment solution that allows customers to split transactions into smaller repayments over several weeks or months.
Customers can choose their payment plan at checkout. Each provider will differ, but Openpay provides interest free plans, with no hidden fees over 3-9 months.
Once the plan is set up and an initial instalment has been paid, the customer receives their goods and pays the remainder over time on a plan which suits them. This can vary between 3 to 9 months, depending on the product.
In the UK, over 60% of millennials use BNPL, with 6 in 10 people intending to use BNPL solutions for purchases over £250.002.
What are some of the advantages of BNPL, compared with other credit products?
In February 2021, The Financial Conduct Authority published The Woolard Review, a report which directly addressed the state of the BNPL industry and its role as a responsible payment platform.3
The report detailed the many consumer benefits of BNPL, as well as the challenges the payments sector faces as it becomes an increasingly popular way to pay.4
For many people, credit products are essential cash-flow tools for managing large payments or unexpected bills, however the report recognises that not everyone in the UK can access credit products easily.5
1Source: Arrow Global; Neyber 2018
2Source: ‘Credituncrunched: why banks and retailers must develop more PoScredit services’, Kearney (2019).
3Source: FCA ‘The Woolard Review – A review of change and innovation in an unsecured market. Report to the FCA Board, February 2021
4Source: FCA ‘The Woolard Review – A review of change and innovation in an unsecured market. Report to the FCA Board, February 2021
5Source: FCA ‘The Woolard Review – A review of change and innovation in an unsecured market. Report to the FCA Board, February 2021 (page 15)
BNPL services offer a cost-free way to access credit which can be significantly cheaper than most alternative forms of regulated credit. Ongoing payment plans can be managed through a clear and easy to understand app, which provides an overview of ongoing commitments and alerts the consumer when payment is due.
Historically, credit card products have presented their own unique set of risks to the customer, as well as notable benefits.
A temptation to overspend without fully paying off the amount owing makes it possible to accrue large amounts of interest and fees on outstanding credit. BNPL mitigates some of the more impactful risks of products such as these with protective features in place for consumers, combined with easily accessible support and customisable payment plans.
Positive ending with Openpay
Openpay is a pioneering BNPL platform, rapidly scaling in the UK with big brand merchant partners and acquisitions in key sectors outside retail, such as veterinary and automotive servicing. Customers can shop for the things they need, whilst paying no interest – ever.
Openpay does everything it can to help consumers meet their repayment obligations, which is why Openpay is one of the only BNPL services to offer monthly repayments which are more in line with most UK pay day cycles.
Openpay’s mobile app offers a clear overview of upcoming payments and the plans customers are signed up to, with SMS and email alerts sent days before payments are taken as a reminder. These comprehensive features inform the customer of when repayments are due and in turn lessen the risk of missed payments.
Customers who find themselves in financial difficulty can ‘snooze’ a payment for a set amount of time, and late fines are capped at £15 per plan, per customer. These core features reflect Openpay’s commitment to responsible lending; a commitment which is further enhanced by the transparency of the service and customer support available.