Buy Now Pay Later

1. What Is Buy Now Pay Later?

Buy Now Pay Later is an interest-free financing option being provided in Australia by numerous financial service providers, most notably Klarna, Afterpay, and Zip, to name a few.

2. How It Works

The concept is simple: you can buy what you want right now and start using it, while splitting up the cost over a number of equal monthly payments as part of a payment plan, mostly without incurring any interest expense.

Although this is an interest-free financing solution, many buy now, pay later service providers do charge a transaction fee each time you avail of the service. Although this fee might seem low, it can amount to a significant sum especially with large value purchases.

3. Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for a buy now, pay later plan, applicants must:

  1. Be over the age of 18
  2. Hold a valid debit/credit card in Australia, in your name or with proper authorization
  3. Also, it might help if the applicant has a good credit history and/or can prove sufficient affordability to make timely repayments, although this might not be necessary with all service providers.

4. Examples of Buy Now Pay Later Providers

Service Provider

Details

Associated Costs

Afterpay

Allows you to make repayments over four equal installments, falling due after every fortnight

Charges $10 if payment is delayed, additional $7 if it remains unpaid for another week

Klarna 

Acceptable at more than 200,000 outlets across Australia

Has some late fees that are applied

Humm 

Offers up to $30,000, to be repaid over a period of fewer than 60 months

Charges a monthly fee of $8 if a term between five to sixty months is selected. Also charges late fees

5. Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

  1. Accepted at many retail outlets
  2. Provides instant funding for purchases up to $30,000 
  3. Flexible loan terms, from a few months to a couple of years

Disadvantages

  1. Fees Apply: Some providers might charge interest after the interest-free period has expired. Also, late fee charges are applied by most providers. 

6. Application Process

Subscribing to a buy now, pay later service is very easy. You start by signing up with a service provider either online or by visiting the store, and approval is usually instantaneous. 

Some providers will limit you to a pre-specified list of merchants where you may avail of the financing facility, while others are generally accepted at all those merchants that accept credit cards. 

The repayment term starts immediately after you make the purchase, and it’s up to you to ensure you have sufficient funds on your card as and when payment becomes due.

7. FAQs

What documents do I need to provide to apply for a buy now pay later loan?

Usually, all the processing is done electronically and no documents must be submitted.

Can I apply for another buy now pay later loan if one is already outstanding?

Yes, you might be able to subscribe to a new loan even with an existing loan depending upon the provider’s terms and conditions.

Are buy now pay later schemes really interest-free?

Yes, most providers have interest-free options although some might only offer an interest-free period for a few months, after which some interest might be charged.