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Buy Now Pay Later : Asuccess story


There is no doubting the popularity today of Buy Now Pay Later, with a growing number of retailers offering this solution to their customers. And it’s certainly been a hit with consumers. In 2022, nearly 43% of European consumers used this type of payment, an increase of 22 percentage points since 2021[1]. A pioneer in the market, Oney is now a BNPL leader in France and several other European countries too. But what’s the secret of this success? How does it all work? We look at the answers…

A short history of BNPL

Created in the 1990s, BNPL has taken off in the last few years due to the sharp rise in online retail, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, it provided €10 billion worth of financing in France (a 66% rise on the figure for 2019)[1]. Since then, its runaway success has continued and BNPL now seems here to stay.

The basic principle is simple. As an alternative to the traditional one-off payment, the consumer can have a product or service immediately and then make a series of scheduled payments, typically three or four.  Its rise in popularity has certainly proved timely, given the current rate of inflation. With France’s consumer prices rising 5.1% in a year (as of May 2023)[2], people are becoming very careful about their spending, making BNPL a way of supporting your customers’ purchasing power.

[1] PwC study: ”Le paiement fractionné en ebullition.” https://www.pwc.fr/fr/vos-enjeux/financial-services-risk-and-regulation/fintech-innovation-et-disruption/le-paiement-fractionne-en-ebullition.html

[2] INSEE, Consumer prices index, May 2023

Buy Now Pay Later: How does it work?

As a retailer, what does BNPL actually involve? By offering it, your customers can make purchases and manage their finances better. Most of the time, retailers offer “guaranteed BNPL”, which means they receive the entire sale price immediately, courtesy of a payment partner. In cases like this, you have no cashflow worries, as you get the full amount straight away.

Finance companies earn their money by taking a share of the sale price, typically between 1% and 2.5%. The retailer is free to either pay all of this commission charge – so the customer pays no charge for using their bank card to spread the cost over three or four instalments – or to share this charge with the customer.

Good to know: the technical side is quick and easy to get up and running. It can be arranged directly through e-commerce platforms, payment service providers, or your own content management system (CMS).

The benefits for you and your customers

Want to book a summer holiday with friends? Fancy an electric bike? Purchases like these can seem scary, but with BNPL, they become easy. There’s no need to spend all the budget in one go. It’s also handy for day-to-day spending or dealing with the unexpected. No need to wait until next month to replace a broken smartphone! With more flexibility and control over their spending, and with everything just a few clicks away, BNPL is a great way to make customers happy! No fewer than 78% of consumers who have used BNPL say they are willing to switch their allegiance to a brand that offered this option.

For retailers, BNPL is a way of increasing the conversion rate, reducing the number of baskets that never make it to the checkout, and attracting new customers.

It’s also a way of increasing the value of the average basket. Being able to spread their payments, consumers are easily attracted to a more expensive product or adding a complementary one. Some of the retailers offering BNPL have seen the value of their baskets rise by 30% to 50%.

Seamless, secure and simple, BNPL is a very effective way to increase your sales.