Buy Now Pay Later Gaining Popularity

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) spending is set to nearly triple between 2018 and 2025, data from BNPL app suggests, with much of that due to pandemic-driven spending pattern changes. has seen its number of monthly active users grow by 186 percent year-over-year so far in 2021. App installs have increased by 46 percent over the same period.

From its 2018 total of $285 billion, BNPL spending is expected to hit $680 billion by mid-decade. Bank of America estimates the BNPL app market could grow by 15-fold through 2025. That could drive global BNPL spending to $1 trillion.

Even with those projections, BNPL remains a fringe option for overall spending. In North America, BNPL spending accounted for 0.9 percent of all spends in 2020. It could hit three percent by 2023 (Capgemini survey). It is a much more accepted option in some other cultures.

Credit remains king, with 62.4 percent of survey respondents preferring it to 30.1 percent for BNPL. That could be changing, as companies like PayPal now offer BNPL. The PayPal option has attracted 330,000 merchants and 3.3 million unique customers since launching less than a year ago. Whatever the reasons, digital commerce could grow by 20 percent to $4.2 trillion, according to Adobe’s Digital Economy Index, with Americans contributing as much as $930 billion of that sum.

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