21+ (BNPL) Buy Now, Pay Later Statistics & Trends

As Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) continues to redefine the shopping experience, it’s no wonder that it’s become a hot topic in consumer finance for the past several years.

But what does the future hold for BNPL?

In this article, I’ll explore 21+ BNPL statistics and trends to expect in 2024, offering insights into the industry’s current state and future direction.

Top BNPL Stats

Here’s a look at the most compelling buy now, pay later statistics from our research:

  • 50% of consumers used BNPL for smaller household items.
  • 88% of BNPL users signal repeat intentions.
  • When asked, most people (62%) said they use BNPL because it lets them spread out payments, making budgeting easier.
  • BNPL made up 5% of all online shopping payments in 2022 and is expected to reach 6% by 2026.
  • Over 50% of BNPL users use it for shopping, while over a third use it for buying household appliances and technology.

1. BNPL gains traction with higher-income groups.

Even though people with high yearly income typically don’t use BNPL much, around 9% of those making over $200,000 a year and 12% of those earning between $125,000 to $200,000 used BNPL services at least once in 2022.

groups that use BNPL

This trend is interesting because it shows that BNPL is gaining traction among higher income brackets, hinting at potential shifts in consumer behavior and spending habits in 2024.

2. Non-essential purchases on the rise with BNPL.

50% of consumers used BNPL for smaller household items, 30% used BNPL for holiday shopping and special occasions, and 24% used it for larger household purchases, with fewer using it for essential expenses like groceries (6%) or bills (2%).

BNPL purchases stats

3. Credit cards’ role in BNPL payments.

According to research by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, credit cards were used for 10.1% of BNPL installment payments in 2021.

BNPL installment payments

In the future, I believe, this trend could influence how credit card companies and BNPL providers compete and collaborate, possibly leading to changes in how these services are offered and used.

4. 88% of BNPL users signal repeat intentions.

A lot of people really enjoy using BNPL, with 88% of users saying they’ll likely use it again in the future.

future use of BNPL

This high level of satisfaction and intention to reuse suggests that BNPL is likely to become even more popular in the future.

5. Risky behaviors among BNPL users.

Many people who use BNPL do it in risky ways: like paying their BNPL bills with a credit card (24%), choosing manual payments instead of automatic (29%), and having 4 or more purchases at the same time (10%).

This suggests that while BNPL is popular, some users might be struggling to manage their payments effectively, which could lead to financial difficulties in the future if not addressed.

6. Why is BNPL’s popularity on the rise.

Here’s another fascinating study about why people use BNPL. When asked, most people (62%) said they use BNPL because it lets them spread out payments, making budgeting easier, and because it’s interest-free (60%).

reasons to use BNPL

Digging deeper, about 22% opt for BNPL because they see it as a better alternative to other types of credit.

So, deeper insights suggest that BNPL isn’t just about convenience but also about financial management and accessibility.

For many, it’s a way to navigate financial constraints while avoiding high-interest debt.

7. Altering American spending patterns.

In December 2022, about 21% of Americans had tried out a BNPL service, indicating a significant portion of the population embracing alternative payment methods.

Again, this trend highlights a potential redefinition of financial habits and attitudes towards credit.

8. Why people opt for installment payments.

Why do people choose BNPL? Mostly, it’s because it helps them afford something they couldn’t buy outright (45%) or because they prefer paying in smaller installments rather than all at once (44%).

used BNPL for a purchase

9. How often people are using BNPL services.

When it comes to how often people use BNPL, 16% tried it once, 54% used it two to five times, 16% used it six to 10 times, 7% used it 11 to 20 times, and 8% used it more than 20 times.

10. BNPL claims 6% share in global e-commerce spending.

BNPL made up 5% of all online shopping payments in 2022 and is expected to reach 6% by 2026.

global e-com payment methods

The rise of BNPL platforms presents opportunities for businesses to enhance customer experiences and increase sales by offering convenient and tailored payment solutions.

11. Savings disparities in BNPL usage.

People who use BNPL tend to have less money saved up than those who don’t. On average, BNPL users have about $3,887 in savings compared to $15,868 for non-users.

Plus, 25% of BNPL users have no savings for emergencies, while only 16% of non-users face the same situation.

This suggests that BNPL users might face financial challenges and have less financial security compared to those who don’t use BNPL.

For the future, this trend could indicate a need for better financial education and planning for BNPL users to help them manage their finances more effectively and avoid falling into debt traps.

12. Retail and tech purchases dominate BNPL trends.

Over 50% of BNPL users use it for shopping, while over a third use it for buying household appliances and technology.

used BNPL for retail purchases

13. What people are buying with BNPL.

According to a recent survey by Consumer Reports, the top 4 categories of purchases made by users of BNPL services are clothing, electronics, appliances, and home furnishings.

14. Payment risks rise with multiple purchases.

If you’re buying four or more things at once, you’re twice as likely to miss a payment compared to those buying fewer items at once.

For example, 18% of people buying four or more things at once missed a payment, while only 9% of those buying fewer items at once did.

15. Satisfaction levels of BNPL users reach new heights.

Many Americans have had positive experiences with BNPL. 86% of BNPL users said they were either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their BNPL experience.

satisfaction of using BNPL

16. Missed payments hit BNPL users hard.

One of the main problems faced by BNPL users is missing a payment, which happens to 7% of them.

This is followed by unexpected fees or interest (6%) and having trouble getting a refund for items they returned or didn’t receive (5%).

Half of those who missed a payment said it was because they thought they’d have enough money but didn’t.

17. BNPL gains ground against credit cards.

Around one in five people have used BNPL services, which is lower than the current usage of credit cards (58%) but still ranks as the second most popular form of credit used in the past three years.

18. Risks of missed payments for BNPL users.

Among those who didn’t make one or more payments, 21% had their debt sent to a collections agency, and 15% found the debt listed on their credit report.

This suggests that missing payments on BNPL plans could have serious consequences like damaging credit scores and causing financial stress.

It highlights the importance of responsible use of such services and the need for clearer terms and support for users to avoid potential financial pitfalls in the future.

19. BNPL usage higher among women users.

This one is quite interesting — more women (26%) use BNPL services compared to men (9%).

This gender discrepancy in BNPL usage may stem from several factors.

One potential reason could be that women are often targeted more aggressively by BNPL marketing campaigns, which leads to higher awareness and adoption.

Also, societal norms and expectations regarding shopping habits and financial responsibilities could also play a role in shaping these usage patterns.

20. Banks fueling BNPL growth.

Traditional banks have the opportunity to expand BNPL services more extensively compared to fintech companies.

Although currently, less than 3% of consumers worldwide use BNPL for major purchases, a surprising 40% expressed interest in using it if their main bank provided the option.

using BNPL with primary bank

Many consumers may prefer the convenience of managing all their financial activities in one place, leading them to favor BNPL options provided by their primary bank.

21. BNPL faces uphill battle as mistrust hinders adoption.

While some studies show that BNPL users are generally more satisfied, it’s interesting to note that 35% of people still don’t trust BNPL services.

Surprisingly, this lack of trust is more common among those who haven’t used BNPL (41%) compared to actual users (6%).

Additionally, men tend to express more distrust in BNPL products than women, with 40% of men compared to 30% of women feeling this way.

Some individuals might be wary of BNPL due to concerns about overspending or accumulating debt.

They may worry about losing control over their finances or facing unexpected financial strain if they cannot manage BNPL payments effectively.

I think another factor could be transparency issues within the BNPL industry.

People may feel uncertain about hidden fees, unclear terms, or potential impacts on their credit scores, leading to mistrust in these services.

22. Mental well-being linked to BNPL usage.

This finding is quite intriguing — 10% of past users believe that BNPL services have hurt their mental well-being.

This seems to be more common among individuals who have experienced difficulty paying for BNPL (21% compared to 3%) or other forms of credit (20% compared to 5%).

I think the deeper reasons behind this could arise from the stress and anxiety caused by financial struggles, particularly when it comes to managing multiple payment obligations.

Expert Insights on Payment Trends

Matthew Caiola

“With this explosive popularity, it’s no surprise that new competition is emerging. Major credit card companies like American Express, Citibank, and Chase have begun offering BNPL loan options.

There’s also new competition coming in from Silicon Valley, with Apple Pay Later recently being launched. We live in a world where convenience is king, and BNPL offers the modern consumer more flexibility and buying power.

Whether consumers are making purchases online or in-store, it’s clear that the sector will continue to grow significantly over the next decade.”

Matthew Caiola, Co-CEO of 5W Public Relations

Pasha Abdulov is a SaaS content writer with 4 years of experience, specializing in product analytics, reporting, behavior analytics, and data management topics. When he’s not busy writing, he actively learns German, loves exercising, and challenges his mind with Sudoku puzzles.