BNPL: Acronym for success?

Adam Bernstein explores the benefits of offering alternative payment options

In a time of rising costs, individuals are especially keen to make purchases as affordable as possible. Cheques are history and cash is declining, which leaves debit and credit cards to take up the slack. The problem is that the former requires funds in an account to make a purchase and the latter usually offers up to 56 days to pay – and requires a credit check.

But there is an alternative that the optical sector needs to consider. Used by many including Boots Opticians, Leightons and Vision Express to name but a few, it is known as ‘buy now pay later’ – BNPL.

An unregulated instalment payment option, invariably with no hard credit search, it seeks to make products more affordable with interest and charge-free purchases.

BNPL has enjoyed explosive growth in recent years. As The Guardian highlighted in October, 2021, UK consumers spent more than £4bn using BNPL and an estimated 7.7m Britons have balances that average £538 for each borrower.

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