Buy now pay later service, BNPL, is a common payment method today. BNPL allows customers to buy goods and pay for them at a later date. In most cases, BNPL is interest-free. Read on as we dig into buy now pay later services in South Africa.
What is Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)
BNPL, also known as point-of-sale installment loans, is a short-term loan or financing that permits customers to buy goods on credit and pay for the purchases later. This credit facility is in most cases interest-free.
BNPL is becoming increasingly popular, especially with online shoppers. It is convenient and allows buyers to get goods even during periods of strained finances. Even so, you have to learn the terms of a specific BNPL facility before using it at any point.
How Does Buy Now Pay Later Work?
Each BNPL service provider has their terms and conditions which fundamentally differentiate all the services available. Even so, there are commonalities across all BNPL services. They include:
- You buy goods from a participating retailer and choose the buy now pay later option at the checkout. The BNPL option is usually alongside other options such as credit and debit cards.
- Your request will be processed. The lender will run a soft credit check on you to affirm your loan eligibility. If it is approved, the service provider will request you to place a deposit (typically, a percentage of the total purchase value).
- You will then be allowed to pay the remaining amount gradually in interest-free batches over an agreed period.
The payment method you use will depend on what you find most convenient. Typically, the BNPL service providers will allow you to pay through bank transfer or check. These payments can also be automatically deducted from your bank account, debit card, or credit card.
Unlike credit cards, BNPL often does charge interest on the credit amount availed to a buyer. Instead, you are expected to clear your payment installments following a strict repayment schedule.
South African Buy Now Pay Later Market
Thousands of South Africans are paying for their purchases using BNPL, with the market growing between 10% to 15% per month. The first to the second quarter of 2022 alone recorded a hike of 50%.
Buy Now Pay Later Payment Solutions in South Africa
Over the past few years, many domestic players in South Africa have launched BNPL products, such as PayJustNow, Tyme Bank, and PayFlex. With several merchants providing these BNPL solutions, the penetration of this product into the South African market is expected to record significant growth over the next couple of years.
The PayFlex idea was born in 2017 when PayFlex partnered with Zip Co Australia to bring the Buy Now Pay Later revolution to the South African market. Their mission is to offer shoppers the opportunity to shop now and pay later, without incurring any interest. Consumers need a payment solution that does not rely on costly credit. With PayFlex, you can get what you want today, and pay in installments for over 6 weeks, interest-free.
Designed to ease the debt burden for South Africans, PayJustNow allows consumers to pay for products while they earn income, without worrying about growing interest charges. PayJustNow has a simple approval process that happens in minutes. Once approved, you will get money to spend and access to a PayJustNow App that works as a nifty budgeting tool.
With the latest technological advancement, the PayJustNow system can determine shopper affordability, schedule automated deductions from the shopper’s selected credit or debit card, and send reminders to ensure they make payments.
MoreTyme is a BNPL service for TymeBank customers in South Africa. It allows consumers to pay for half of their commodity at the till point, take it straight home, and then pay off the remaining balance for over 2 months. The second payment of 25% will be deducted automatically from your account after 30 days, while the third and final payment amount, also 25%, will come off your EveryDay account 69 days after your purchase.
Provided you have sufficient funds in your account for the second and third payments, MoreTyme charges no interest and no fees. This makes it one of the most affordable short-term credit solutions on the South African market.
Advantages of BNPL for Customers in South Africa
As a consumer, there are several potential benefits that come with the Buy-Now-Pay-Later service.
It is an Equalizer for Consumers Without Credit Cards
A significant minority of consumers in South Africa, around 20%, don’t have credit cards, while the majority that do, about 55%, have maxed out at least one card. Buy now pay later service offers many similar benefits as credit cards, but for smaller, individual purchases. BNPL service can be used like a credit card by applying for a virtual card number in advance of the purchase. This virtual card number will cover the amount required to complete your purchase. This can all be done via the BNLP vendor’s smartphone App or on their website.
Soft Credit Checks have no Impact on Your Credit
Most BNPL merchants conduct soft credit checks on their customers to establish their eligibility for a loan. This will not dent your credit rating, unlike a hard credit check. Moreover, if for some reason you default or are late in repayments to your BNPL merchant, you will not be reported to credit bureaus for listing, much like when you are late on your credit card payments.
Flexible payment options
Most BNPL services provide options to consumers at the point of sale. As a consumer, you may pay the full price of your purchase using the BNPL service, or, you may split your purchase cost between BNPL and some other payment option, like a debit card.
Options for Interest-free Payments
If you choose a short loan duration and make timely payments, you can borrow money and enjoy your shopping without paying any interest fees.
BNPL providers benefit in two ways: merchant commissions from retailers, and interest rates and penalties charged should the consumer fail to meet their interest-free obligations.