Given the current inflationary environment, just under a third of UK consumers (29%) have said that they would use 'buy now pay later' (BNPL) payment services to pay for their groceries, if such services were available, a study by RFI Global has found.
Some 34% of consumers would avail of BNPL services to pay for everyday expenses like household bills, while 27% would use it to pay for petrol, the study, ‘The Global State of BNPL: How banks and providers can champion customer interest’, found.
Across all sectors, more than two thirds of UK retailers (69%) have reported improvements in at least one area of their business sales and performance metrics as a result of offering BNPL services.
'Clear Improvement In Sales'
“Even though there’s a fee for retailers to offer BNPL as a payment option, most retailers report a clear improvement in sales and other performance metrics," commented Mark Schultz, global head of business payments at RFI Global.
"Our research shows that the lack of awareness among retailers of the benefits of BNPL is acting as a clear barrier to growth. Rectifying these misperceptions and educating non-accepting retailers will be key to accelerating the uptake of BNPL in the UK and globally.”
At the same time, some 63% of retailers are not interested in offering BNPL as a payment method, with many citing a 'lack of relevance'.
Regulation On The Way
In addition, some retailers are wary about the criticism of this soon-to-be regulated-market with concerns that consumers can run into trouble if they miss their payment instalments, leading them onto a dangerous spiral of debt.
With the cost of living crisis accelerating, many retailers may turn to BNPL services in order to maintain strong customer engagement.
"With inflation creating the biggest cost of living crisis to hit UK consumers in decades, it is in the interest of retailers to provide payment choices," said Schultz. "Those that do are more likely to increase repeat purchasing and their bottom line.”