Consumers struggling to keep up with buy now, pay later schemes


As inflation worries persist, buy now, pay later is becoming a tool for some shoppers to try to fit higher prices into already stretched budgets. It’s not sustainable as a long-term strategy for navigating higher prices, but it could ease the financial pinch in the short term. 

As with any financial tool involving debt, consumers need to keep track of their overall debt load. Responsible companies and merchants should ensure they are educating consumers about what BNPL is and what it is not.  

Ultimately, consumers make their own decisions, including whether to take on debt. Consumers already can put their bar tab on a credit card. If they decide to do the same with a BNPL option, they are obligated to account for it in their budget and pay it off, just as they would their credit card. 

Consumers should always consider BNPL as a debt obligation that should be taken seriously.