The move comes ahead of a holiday season that could see travelers sharply reduce their spending amid high inflation.
“As consumers prepare for the peak holiday travel period, we are excited to provide an easy and flexible service that will allow our customers to book and pay in four installments for their preferred flights and accommodations, interest-free and over time,” Alex Fisher, Afterpay’s North American head of revenue, said in a Monday (Nov. 21) news release.
Beginning Monday, customers can book their trips and stays with Expedia via the Afterpay app and choose the option to pay in four interest-free installments. Expedia says it plans to expand the program to other brands in the future. In 2019, Expedia joined forces with the BNPL brand Klarna to provide payment plans for customers of Expedia.com and Hotels.com.
This new partnership is arriving at a time when nearly 22% of consumers say they plan to spend less on holiday travel this year, according to recent research by PYMNTS.
That statistic is part of a broader and bleaker picture of this year’s holiday season, according to the latest New Reality Check: The Paycheck-To-Paycheck Report: The Holiday Shopping Edition, a PYMNTS and LendingClub collaboration. That report found that 15 million consumers who shopped for gifts last year wouldn’t be doing so in 2022.
Nearly 80% of respondents said they would shop for the 2022 holiday season, an almost nine percentage point drop from the 88% who made purchases last year.
“It’s such a sad statistic that came out of this report,” Anuj Nayar, Financial Health Officer at LendingClub, told PYMNTS. “That means people are not buying gifts, many for the first time.”