There are lots of reasons why people are turning to buy now, pay later (BNPL) services when they shop. You might need new clothes for an event (job interview, wedding) that just can’t wait until next pay day. Or you might need to try several sizes in one item but don’t have the funds to buy that expensive dress four times over.
What do I need to know about BNPL?
Buy now pay later companies in the UK
Popular payment service Klarna offers shoppers three ways to buy now, pay later:
- Pay later. Receive an invoice for your full order total with up to 30 days to pay the full amount.
- Slice it. Split your payments into monthly instalments that you pay over time. (Requires a full credit check and charges interest of up to 18.9% APR.)
- Slice it in three. Spread the cost of your purchase equally over three months. Payments are due at the time of ordering and then 30 and 60 days later.
Sister to Aussie brand Afterpay, Clearpay has been making waves on the UK payment scene.
Aimed at millennial spenders who prefer debit to credit, Clearpay is designed to offer flexible payments without the risk of getting into debt. The company assigns spending limits based upon a customer’s previous usage of the service and charges no interest.
- Split it. Clearpay easily splits your final shopping total into four equal amounts, which you pay back at two-week intervals.
Laybuy lets you take your purchase now and pay for it in six easy instalments. The company offers payment plans with no sign-up fees and no interest so you only pay the original price of your order.
- Get it now, pay in six. Laybuy breaks your shopping total down into six manageable payments which are taken automatically from your bank account at weekly intervals.
Popular retailers: AX Paris, Footasylum
Payl8r lets shoppers pay on their own terms by offering the following payment plan options:
- Speedy. Pay 0% interest if you pay us back the total amount within 30 days.
- Split. Split your payments across 3, 6, 9 or 12 months (interest will apply).
- Spread. Spread the cost at 0% interest.
Popular retailers: Beauty Works
Aussie payment service Openpay now offers UK customers a smarter way to pay for their online shopping.
Openpay lets customers get approved for the service in just 90 seconds and then choose their own payment plan. The service takes automatic payments from payment methods each month to avoid missed payments and charges no interest.
- You choose the plan. At the point of purchase, Openpay will give you several repayment schedule options to choose from.
Splitit allows users to use their current credit lines (eg. credit cards) to pay for large purchases in multiple smaller amounts. The first payment is due at the time of purchase and the rest of the total will be charged as a “hold” on your credit line. As each monthly payment is charged, the hold on your card is reduced until the purchase is paid in full.
- You choose the plan. Splitit offers monthly payments from 3 instalments to 24 instalments.
- No interest. Splitit doesn’t charge interest, but remember that your credit card company might if you don’t keep up with payments.
- No credit check. Because Splitit uses your pre-existing line of credit there is no need for credit checks, soft or hard.
How does buy now pay later work?
Each of the services listed above offers customers slightly different variations of the buy now, pay later service. Some services split the shopping total into even parts that are due to be paid back at designated intervals (weekly, fortnightly, monthly), while some offer a defined interest-free period in which the amount can be paid off and some offer options for longer payment terms that include payment of interest.
Before you sign up for any buy now, pay later service be sure you have fully read and understood the terms and conditions of your chosen service.
- Warning: Late repayments can cause you serious money problems. For help, contact the Money Advice Service.
Buy now, pay later provider Laybuy is bringing you discounts of up to 35% off your favouriote retailers, for one day only! Read more…
When looking for new furniture, find out which stores you can buy now and pay later with thanks to Clearpay. Read more…
Shop now, pay later and score extra discounts with these special Clearpay Day deals, only available for two days! Read more…
Popular fashion retailer PrettyLittleThing has partnered with payment service Klarna to let you buy now and pay later. Find out the details here! Read more…
Read our review to see how Payl8r works and decide if it’s the right choice for you. Read more…
Check out our review of Laybuy, to see whether this buy now pay later interest-free plan could work for you. Read more…
Enjoy flexible online shopping and buy now, pay later with Openpay! Find out which of your favourite stores offer this new payment service. Read more…
Get the most out of the Boxing Day sales when you buy now and pay later at these top retailers that offer Klarna. Read more…
Buy now and pay later this Boxing Day with these top Clearpay stores! Shop fashion, beauty and more from your favourite retailers. Read more…
Choose your style and choose your payment service. Read more…
Ask an Expert