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Experts Warn of Buy Now, Pay Later Ahead of Black Friday

Experts Warn of Buy Now, Pay Later Ahead of Black Friday 41

With Britons spending more than £8.6 billion during Black Friday last year, this will no doubt be a busy time for shoppers and retailers, with the big discount day just a few weeks away.

Many customers buying online will no doubt be using Buy Now, Pay Later – a simple way to delay payments and something that has become second nature for eCommerce and online retailers. From clothes, make up, shoes and furniture, Buy Now Pay Later allows you to delay repayments for 30 days or sometimes as long as 12 months, usually interest-free.

But whilst Buy Now Pay Later surpassed more than $100 billion worth of sales in 2021 from the likes of Klarna and Clearpay , some experts have warned of the potential dangers of it – and we speak to two financial experts to find out more.

“Whilst it may be advertised as interest-free, you can be charged late fees for not making the payments on time”

“Buy Now Pay Later is certainly great to retailers and sellers who are looking to shift their stock,” explains David Beard, founder of price comparison site, lendingexpert.co.uk. 

“It is very appealing for the customer. After all, who wouldn’t want to delay payment if they can?”

“But customers do need to remember that they will have to pay for their goods one day. Whilst it may be advertised as interest-free, you can be charged late fees for not making the payment on time – and this is a maximum of £36 per order. This may not seem like a lot, but if you have purchased a dozen items for Christmas during the Black Friday sale and cannot pay them back, that is going to add up to over £430.”

Dan Kettle, the founder of US lender, Pheabs, agrees. 

“Buy Now Pay Later sounds really appealing, since everyone likes to have more money in their bank account and it is only human nature to seek financial gains short-term and leave things long-term.”

“It is largely an unregulated industry and you cannot complain to the Ombudsman if you have trouble”

“But in reality, I don’t find Buy Now Pay Later to be that enticing. It might seem cool to delay payment for 30 days, but a credit card practically does the exact same thing and is 0% – so why put yourself at risk of default fees for the sake of a very upside?”

“I can see some reasons for Buy Now Pay Later, certainly if you are facing a lifestyle change such as moving home or having a newborn child and are going through a spell of huge costs all at once. But still, it is largely an unregulated industry and you cannot complain to the Ombudsman if you have trouble. So whilst it may have its place, borrowers who are prone to falling behind on payments should take caution.”

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