Buy now pay later numbers leap in UK
Around 15 million people in the UK are using buy now, pay later (BNPL) credit, a rise of 23% year-on-year, a new study has shown.
Research by Equifax shows 28% of adults made at least one repayment using BNPL last month, 2.6 million more than a year ago.
That conclusion is based on interviews of 2,000 consumers and data from almost 9,000 current accounts.
The institutions offering BNPL have expanded beyond the specialists such as Klarna and Clearpay in recent periods to established banking giants such as Barclays that’s a recent entry into the sector. And huge numbers of fashion retailers and brands now offer BNPL options both online and in-store.
That’s despite BNPL being criticised for encouraging consumers to buy things they can’t afford and tying them in to credit agreements.
But advocates of the payment method say it encourages sensible borrowing and is cheaper and more transparent than using credit cards.
The research showed that consumers are borrowing more than they used to with average payments of £120.35 last December and £125.32 last month.
As many as one in 10 shoppers are planning to use BNPL to fund Christmas purchases with 27% saying they’d struggle to buy everything they wanted without being able to pay later.
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