Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)


What is Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)? Buy Now Pay Later for eCommerce

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Team Storyly
January 12, 2024
0 min read

What is Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)?

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) is a financing option offered by some retailers and financial service providers, allowing customers to purchase products or services upfront and defer the payment to a later date. 

Typically, BNPL arrangements involve breaking the total cost of a purchase into smaller installments or offering a short-term, interest-free period before interest and fees may be applied.

BNPL services have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in e-commerce, as they provide customers with greater flexibility in managing their finances and offer an alternative to traditional credit options like credit cards. Some well-known BNPL providers include Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna, and Zip (formerly Quadpay).

It's important to note that while BNPL can be a convenient way to manage cash flow, customers should use it responsibly and ensure they can afford the repayments. Failing to make timely payments could result in late fees, negatively impact credit scores, and lead to increased debt.

How Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) Works

BNPL online shopping

In buy now, pay later, a customer deposits a predetermined amount of money. The balance is cleared in installments for a specified period.

BNPL arrangements are varied to include options such as a one-month payment period. Typically, the time taken to clear the payment for the item is determined by the value of the good and the customer's income. In the case of assets such as homes and business machinery, more time is accorded, and interest is charged.

Generally, BNPL is based on the need to save the customer from financial burden and compensate the business for collecting the money later. Therefore, the customer gets to pay for a slightly higher amount but within an extended period while still enjoying the goods. The company receives compensation above the buying price for waiting. Everybody wins! Now, your customers can check out with all the items they load to the cart—and your business makes more.

In the era of interconnecting systems, BNPL in e-commerce has never been more convenient. Many acceptable payment options range from local mobile money to international wire transfers. The evolution of the global financial system has made it possible to use cryptocurrency. It is now possible to pay for Domino's Pizza using Bitcoin.

Why Shoppers Use Buy Now, Pay Later Options

Shoppers use Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options for various reasons, including:

Convenience and Flexibility

Shoppers use Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options because they provide a convenient and flexible way to make purchases. Instead of paying the full amount upfront, BNPL allows customers to spread the cost over several installments, making it easier to manage their budget.

Immediate Access to Products

BNPL services allow customers to get immediate access to the products they want, even if they don't have the full amount available at the time of purchase. This can be particularly useful for larger, more expensive items or during times when cash flow is tight.

Alternative to Traditional Credit

BNPL options can serve as an alternative to traditional credit options like credit cards. For customers who don't have access to credit or prefer not to use credit cards, BNPL provides another way to finance their purchases.

Interest-Free or Low-Interest Financing

Many BNPL providers offer interest-free or low-interest financing options, which can be more attractive than traditional credit options that may charge higher interest rates. As long as customers make timely payments, they can benefit from these lower costs.

Easy Approval Process

The approval process for BNPL services is often faster and easier than that of traditional credit options. In many cases, customers can get approved within minutes, making the process seamless and allowing them to complete their purchase without delays.

Enhanced Shopping Experience

By offering BNPL options, retailers can enhance the shopping experience for their customers. The convenience and flexibility of BNPL can increase customer satisfaction and encourage repeat business.

Advantages of Buy Now, Pay Later for Businesses?

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options have become increasingly popular for e-commerce businesses. Some of the advantages of offering BNPL for e-commerce businesses include:

  1. Increased Conversion Rates
  2. Attracting New Customers
  3. Reducing Cart Abandonment
  4. Improved Cash Flow for Customers
  5. Competitive Advantage
  6. Risk Mitigation

Increased Conversion Rates

One of the main advantages of offering a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) option for eCommerce businesses is increased conversion rates. Customers are more likely to complete a purchase if they have the option to pay in installments, as it helps them manage their cash flow better. This flexibility can lead to a higher number of transactions and, ultimately, increased revenue for the business.

Attracting New Customers

BNPL options can also help eCommerce businesses attract new customers who may be hesitant to make large purchases upfront. This payment method can be particularly appealing to younger generations, such as millennials and Gen Z, who value convenience and flexibility in their shopping experiences. By offering a BNPL option, businesses can expand their customer base and improve customer loyalty.

Reducing Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment is a common issue in the eCommerce industry. Offering a BNPL option can help businesses reduce the rate of abandoned carts by providing customers with a more manageable way to pay for their purchases. When customers see they can spread the cost of their purchase over several payments, they are less likely to abandon their cart, leading to higher overall sales.

Improved Cash Flow for Customers

BNPL options allow customers to manage their finances better by spreading the cost of a purchase over a period of time. This can be particularly helpful for consumers during periods of economic uncertainty or financial strain. By offering a flexible payment option, eCommerce businesses can provide customers with an improved shopping experience and, in turn, foster long-term customer relationships.

Competitive Advantage

In a crowded eCommerce marketplace, offering a BNPL option can help businesses stand out from their competitors. By providing customers with a range of payment options, eCommerce businesses can demonstrate that they are responsive to customer needs and preferences. In turn, this can help businesses build a strong reputation and brand loyalty.

Risk Mitigation

Many BNPL providers assume the risk of non-payment, meaning that eCommerce businesses receive payment upfront while the provider takes on the responsibility of collecting payments from the customer. This can help businesses mitigate the risks associated with offering credit to customers while still reaping the benefits of higher sales and customer satisfaction.

Do Customers or Businesses Pay More When Using Buy Now, Pay Later?

The cost of using Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services can vary for both customers and businesses, depending on the specific BNPL provider and the terms of the agreement.

Costs for Customers

When using Buy Now, Pay Later services, customers may face various costs, depending on the provider and repayment plan. In some cases, BNPL services offer interest-free plans, meaning customers only pay the original purchase price divided into equal installments. However, customers may incur additional costs in the form of late fees if they fail to make timely payments.

Additionally, some BNPL providers charge interest on certain repayment plans, particularly for longer-term financing. In these cases, customers end up paying more for their purchases than they would have if they paid upfront. It's essential for customers to carefully review the terms and conditions of their chosen BNPL service and understand any fees and interest that may apply.

Costs for Businesses

Businesses that offer BNPL options to their customers typically pay a fee to the BNPL service provider. These fees often include a percentage of the total transaction amount and a fixed per-transaction fee. The cost of offering BNPL services can vary based on the provider, the type of product or service being sold, and the volume of transactions.

For businesses, the decision to offer BNPL services is often a trade-off between the associated costs and the potential benefits, such as increased sales, higher average order values, and improved customer satisfaction.

How to Offer Buy Now, Pay Later Campaigns in Your Mobile App, Using Storyly

 Buy now pay later futuristic display

In the app, stories are more prominent than expected. For example, in the case of Instagram, stories are accessed by up to 500 million accounts per day. The power of in-app stories is unprecedented, but it is also a lucrative path for you to gain market dominance. With Storyly, you can now include stories in your app to complete your digital campaign!

First, you need to understand why Storyly is your most-reliable companion to increase customer engagement in your app. Storyly is a software development kit (SDK) that allows you to add stories to your mobile app, emojis, videos, images, polls, surveys, reactions, and even import posts from your influencers. Storyly is so lightweight that it eliminates all your worries, such as the need to edit the source code for your app and get extra storage.

Second, you will only provide customers with what they need; Storyly will allow you to create several story groups and post content to the respective one. That way, you will address unique customer segments separately. Don't forget that you can only integrate your stories from different platforms using Storyly. It does not matter the language with which your app was written—Storyly has you covered regardless.

The power in your hands is immense— use the steps below to integrate the Storyly SDK with your app;

  1. For Android, follow this simple guide. The process is easy; add Storyly as one of the requirements in the gradle folder and copy the provided code to initialize (both the Java and Kotlin code is provided.
  2. For IOS, the process is equally short. Note that the Storyly SDK is available through CocoaPods. The SDK is also available through Swift Package Manager (SPM) and Carthage. If the options are not enough, you can install Storyly SDK manually. The latest SDKs are available here. And, you only download the files and copy them to the Xcode project. No matter the option you choose, initiate Storyly and enjoy the magical powers of storytelling.

It's Time to Grow

Your business will only attain the set goals as long as its operations are aligned with customer needs. Your success so far is directly proportional to the attention you paid to client stories! Therefore, it is time you told a story, too, to confirm to your customers that your interests are aligned. Isn't that what communication is; parties understand each other better as they pursue their goals? Well, there are a million things that your clients should know. It is entirely your responsibility to tell the story of your business, the impact you are creating, and the steps you have taken to solve market needs. Your efforts to make the world a better place exceed beyond launching new products; you should also raise customer awareness of their existence. Now that communication is vital and involves daily updates, you need a convenient way of passing key messages.

With Storyly, you will also collect customer feedback on sensitive matters besides passing important information in good time. Now you can post regular videos, images, social media posts, forms, and even pages. The interactive content will enable you to collect information from polls and surveys. Additionally, all the data you collect will be stored in a single location and analyzed to enable you to convert data to informed decisions.

All you will need is simple embed code, with which you can include content from other platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and all other platforms that are accessible online such as your website. That way, your clients are connected, despite their differences in behavior, such as social media usage! Ultimately, you will attain the primary goal for digital marketing, higher conversion rates! The additional revenue is the key to your business growth. You will also have the capital required to overcome competition from key rivals.


Sign up on Storyly today, and leverage the power of storytelling to increase sales, expand your market share and protect your competitive advantage. Onboarding is easy since you need to provide few details and immediately tell compelling stories to your customers across all platforms. Contact us to get started right away. We have both standard and custom solutions for your business. Also, we have dedicated support to ensure that your storytelling campaigns run smoothly. We have a demo to enable you to better understand the need for the Storyly SDK in your app.


Team Storyly

Group of experts from Storyly's team who writes about their proficiency.