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Is ″Buy Now, Pay Later″ the consumer credit magic bullet we’ve all been waiting for?

BIScom Subsection: 
Nigel Morris-Cotterill

Buy Now, Pay Later is a rapidly growing consumer credit sector. Last year, it is reported, it was used in 3.6% of retail sales in the UK. Is it a panacea or a plague?

Long Read: 17 pages.


As a low-risk, convenient, credit model, Buy Now, Pay Later has many advantages.

However, where it is used as an alternative to payday lending, those companies that do not lend responsibly may add to a debt overhang in the same way as credit card companies.

There is no such thing as free credit: someone, somewhere is paying. If a customer fails to meet his obligations, he pays, notwithstanding the headlines in the advertising.

The future is uncertain because the current low-interest environment is itself unstable and supported only by current economic thinking which is out of step with history. But, until that time comes, there is much hay to be made and many retailers and consumers to satisfy.


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