New Report: The Role Of Flexible-Payment Options In Bringing Customers Back Into Stores

Flexible in-store payment plans that can help consumers handle both everyday and big-ticket purchases are gaining popularity in the United States, where the pandemic’s economic effects are causing consumers to temper their spending.

These buy now, pay later (BNPL) solutions allow customers to pay for goods in installments or delay payments without facing high-interest fees that can lead to debt.

Several flexible payment plan providers are seeing rapid growth, which is being boosted even more dramatically during the pandemic. Approximately 15,000 brands already offer or plan to offer BNPL provider Afterpay’s solution, for example. The service has helped generate $2.4 billion in transactions year-to-date through the third quarter, representing a stunning 354 percent rise in volume compared to the same period in the last fiscal year.

In the latest “Buy Now, Pay Later Tracker®,” PYMNTS examines how BNPL providers are working to offer flexible payment options that can give consumers the confidence to continue spending despite current economic uncertainty. The Tracker also considers how in-store BNPL solutions could drive business as stores reopen.

Developments From The Buy Now, Pay Later World

Younger consumers’ attitudes toward personal finance, payments and debt offer insights into the retail sector’s post-pandemic future. A recent study sheds light on these subjects, polling approximately 1,200 U.S. consumers ages 18 to 64 through late February and early March. It found that millennials and Generation Z consumers are seeking installment payment options and that the latter are especially wary of debt.

Overall consumer spending has plummeted since the pandemic forced merchants to shutter their brick-and-mortar stores, yet competition for consumer spending in the BNPL payments space is heating up. Flexible payment provider Splitit, for one, recently announced a multiyear agreement with Mastercard to provide its BNPL payments platform. The move will allow consumers to break payments made with their credit or debit cards into no-interest monthly installments.

United Kingdom automobile supermarket Imperial Cars recently rolled out a BNPL service that allows consumers to shop for new vehicles without making payments for up to three months. The option was designed to provide relief for consumers who may be challenged due to the pandemic and find it difficult to instantly commit to installment plans. It resembles services offered by other automotive companies, including Ford, Volkswagen and Renault.

For more on these and other stories, read the Trackers News & Trends.

How BNPL Is Helping BlackCool Boost Brand Awareness And Expand Reach 

Flexible in-store payments are growing in popularity in the U.S. as consumers cut back on their expenses during the pandemic. BNPL payment plans that allow customers to better manage their finances are expanding opportunities for a variety of retailers to sell products both online and in-store, however. Leveraging BNPL methods to assist customers and bolster their marketing efforts can help retailers better compete in today’s market.

In this month’s Feature Story, Rocky D. Williform, founder and CEO of BlackCool & Co., discusses how flexible in-store BNPL offerings are giving cash-strapped consumers peace of mind while expanding merchants’ reach across demographics.

Deep Dive: Demand For In-Store And eCommerce BNPL Offerings Rise During Health Crisis

Many retailers eager to attract customers are rolling out flexible point-of-sale payment options as stores reopen. These offerings aim to help consumers of all ages stretch their dollars to pay for expensive items or even pay for essentials such as groceries.

This month’s Deep Dive examines how a growing number of consumers are turning to BNPL offerings and how retailers are leveraging these methods to put budget-conscious customers at ease as they head back to brick-and-mortar stores.

About The Tracker 

The “Buy Now, Pay Later Tracker®,” a PYMNTS and Afterpay collaboration, brings you the latest news and research from the buy now, pay later and retail space. It features expert analysis regarding changing payment trends as well as insights from top insiders within the retail and fashion industries.