The Next BNPL Horizon Will Expand Access to 83% Who Want to Make Big Ticket Purchases

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) is redefining the way consumers shop.

Twenty-nine million adult U.S. consumers have purchased at least one item via BNPL in the past year, allowing them to spread their payments out over longer periods of time, as opposed to spending all at once. The consumers who use BNPL say they see it as a more effective way to manage their expenses, and many even say they prefer BNPL to traditional credit cards, in no small part because they prefer not having to pay interest on their big-ticket purchases.

These benefits have helped millions of consumers — especially those living paycheck to paycheck — obtain retail products that they might otherwise have decided against buying, and millions more are now looking to BNPL options to help them access high-value purchases.

PYMNTS’ latest research shows that 43% of all adult U.S. consumers (111 million people) want the ability to use BNPL options to pay for high-value services. It is therefore clear that offering BNPL options can help merchants reach more potential customers — but only if they are able to deliver the types of BNPL purchasing experiences that those customers want. What does the typical BNPL buyer want from their shopping experiences?

This is just one of the questions that PYMNTS, in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), set out to answer in The Next BNPL Horizon: Expanding Access To High-Value Services. We surveyed a census-balanced panel of 2,211 U.S. consumers about whether they have experience using BNPL services, the types of retail purchases that they have used BNPL options to buy, and their interest in using BNPL to buy high-value services to gauge how many would-be shoppers that merchants might be able to convert by providing the BNPL options that are going farther and farther into the mainstream.

PYMNTS’ research shows that more than 111 million consumers across the U.S. would be interested in using BNPL to purchase high-value services, from out-of-pocket medical procedures to education and certification training and beyond, and that 21% of them would be eager to provide their personal information if it meant they could earn more favorable BNPL terms.

Not all BNPL options are created equal, however. Consumers would be more willing to use BNPL options from third-party providers than those offered by merchants, themselves. Fifty-nine percent of all consumers say they would use BNPL options if they were offered by banks, technology companies or credit card companies, in fact, while only 20% would use those provided by merchants. This goes to show that partnering with third-party BNPL providers can go a long way in helping merchants win over new customers.

These are only a few of the trends that have emerged amid BNPL’s meteoric rise to the forefront of the retail business. The Next BNPL Horizon: Expanding Access To High-Value Services report delivers the details of how BNPL is reshaping consumers’ shopping habits.

To learn more about what consumers want from their BNPL experiences, download the report.