Baby Boomers Prefer Credit Card Installment Plans 2:1 Over BNPL

There’s a clear preference for credit card installment plan versus buy now, pay later (BNPL) preferences by baby boomers and seniors. Of these surveyed consumers, 20% had used credit card installment plans heavily: five times or more over the three months previous to being surveyed, per “Tracking the Digital Payments Takeover,” a PYMNTS and AWS collaboration. 

This is, as the below chart demonstrates, twice the rate of baby boomers and seniors who used BNPL during the same period with heavy frequency. 

The edition of the “Digital Payments Takeover” report further identified possible reasons behind the preference by the demographic. 

Overall, BNPL-using respondents stated that the features that would improve their satisfaction with BNPL providers are comparable to features offered by traditional credit cards. These include rewards, cited by 38% of surveyed consumers, and wider merchant availability, cited by 33% of the same. 

Some FinTechs are seeking to bridge that gap.

In an interview with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, BNPL provider Splitit CEO Nandan Sheth discussed how his company is meeting the needs of consumers who prefer credit card installment plans over BNPL.

Splitit, he said, aims to provide convenience factors such as platform availability by merchants or accelerating application decision times.

“This experience has no QR code. There’s no registration, there’s no out-of-brand experience. You don’t have to use your phone unless you’re using it to tap your card. It’s literally one click, the option that you want [appears], the credit card authorizes, you walk out with your goods, and you pay over six months. That’s the elegance of the solution,” Sheth said. 

Credit card installment plans and BNPL solutions may be a matter of preference to some, but for the baby boomers heavily using these products, a preference is clear so far.

However, as bridging platforms and other innovations come to market, that share could fall in line with other generations as baby boomers possibly find that iterations of these products with requested features could make the BNPL and credit card installment plans seem virtually interchangeable.