Best Buy Now, Pay Later Services
Buy Now, Pay Later services are the new financial programs that are quickly taking the place of credit cards for many consumers. They can take the stress out of busy spending periods, like Christmas, and in some cases can even be used to pay bills. However, as with any financial service, there can be some risks involved.
Latest review: This is much better than afterpay and so many options at payment arrangements. It has helped very much on purchases made, customer service is also good, and assistance also
No fees and Zero Interest if you choose 5 fortnightly instalments to pay for 'Little Things' up to $2,000
Zero Interest & 6 - 60 months time period to repay 'Big Things' up to $30,000
$8 Monthly Fee if you choose 10 fortnightly instalments to pay for 'Little Things'
$8 Monthly Fee & $35-90 Establishment Fee for 'Big Things'
$6 Late Payment Fee
- Transparency 4.3 (2,384)
- Customer Service4.3 (2,341)
- Rates and Fees4.4 (2,341)
- Application Process4.5 (2,362)
- Award Winner 2020
Latest review: It's an easy app to use plus the fact it's it's helped me buy so many new thing that I never had that chance to before after pay. I love
Free to use - Zero Interest and No Establishment Fees
Seamless integration within stores with a large number of merchants offering AfterPay
Automatic payment plan of 4 equal instalments each fortnight
Credit check not required; doesn't affect your credit score
$10 Late Fee for missing an automatic payment
$7 Fee on top of $10 Late Fee if you fail to repay the missed instalment within 7 days of the due date
May affect your ability to secure a loan as lenders consider Afterpay a line of credit
- Transparency 4.0 (1,075)
- Customer Service3.9 (996)
- Rates and Fees4.3 (963)
- Application Process4.3 (972)
Latest review: I really like zip it gives me opportunities to pay as I like and I really like that about zip payments are to what I can afford and it really helps with my credit rating I love zip and would
Interest-free repayments and no establishment fees for ZipPay (maximum $1,000 account limit)
3 month interest-free period for ZipMoney (minimum $1,000 account limit)
Flexible payment plans - set up weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments to suit your schedule
$6 Monthly Account Fee if you have a balance
$5 ZipPay / $15 ZipMoney Late Fee if you've made no repayments within 21 days of the due date
1.5% payment processing fee if you use Zip to pay bills
Minimum $40 monthly repayment required
Conducts credit checks during applicatiopn; will affect your credit score if you default on payments
- Transparency 3.9 (678)
- Customer Service3.9 (674)
- Rates and Fees4.0 (666)
- Application Process4.1 (682)
Latest review: Easy to use. Hard to get in contact with: recently they charged me twice for the same order - this was partly Bunnings fault. Two emails to them and no reply from
Latest review: Won’t send statements, email support and chat support absolutely useless Sent them screenshots of my details with the same details in writing and my written details and they say ‘Some details don’t m
Latest review: Its amazing also no interest. Easy set and forget payments. Will be recommending this form of payment in future. It's also really flexible, choose to pay off what you want when you want over 10 week
Latest review: Very convenient but not sure when I can use big things. I would like to be able to pay for large items over a longer period. When first joined could have payments over a longer period of time
Latest review: They send you a spam message that you cannot reply STOP to unsubscribe. Sounds like a trash company from the reviews and products on offer. Added to the block list. Will call the ACCC if you try it
Latest review: Been using klarna since last year don’t know what happened but there so called customer service is even worse than before I was told by Amy support agent that a new card was coming called s
Latest review: I can honestly say you can't compare Gimmie to any other company I have used previously. They are straightforward, hassel free and very easy to use. I received a text message after my application
Latest review: I highly recommend that no one even applies for this service. They refused me an account and put a black mark on my credit report. ABSOLUTE JOKE!! Afterpay is much more efficient and professional.
Latest review: Scammers owe me a refund been to consumer protection and today tonight. Was told it has been listed with asic as a fraudulent business running from offshore. Stealing peoples credit cards and money.
How does Buy Now, Pay Later work?
These services allow you to make purchases and receive the product instantly without paying the full price upfront, instead paying it later in regular, scheduled interest-free instalments over a certain amount of time.
They are easier and quicker to sign up for in comparison to credit cards or debit cards, and in most cases you are not required to provide proof of income or undergo a credit check to be approved.
At the moment, are leading the way as most popular ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ services in Australia. There are many other companies offering similar services, all with slight variances in joining requirements, the flexibility of payment schedules and additional fees. It’s important to know all the terms and conditions that come with each service so you don’t get hit with any unexpected fees.
Should I use a Buy Now, Pay Later Service?
- Lets you pay off a purchase gradually
- A safe option for people on top of their repayments
- An attractive interest-free alternative to credit cards
- It can be tempting to overspend using a Buy Now, Pay Later service
- While most plans are interest free, you can rack up late fees quickly
- Can affect your credit score if you aren't able to make the repayments on time
Arguments in favour of using one
These ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ services can be an easy way to spread out the burden of making payments, and if you are on top of your spending, you won’t get hit with any extra fees.
So if you are already good at managing your finances, and plan on using it for things you would be purchasing regardless, it can be a relatively safe option and and a good interest-free alternative to credit cards, and help you avoid credit card debt.
When a Buy Now, Pay Later Service may not be for you
However, there are some risks that come with using these services, especially if you don’t manage your payments or something unexpected stops you from earning an income.
BNPL services can be very appealing to someone working on a casual or part-time basis, as the repayments can match up with a weekly or fortnightly salary cycle. However, someone in this position may also be at risk or running up late fees due to unreliable income if they lose a shift one week or have their hours permanently reduced.
People are more likely to buy more than they usually would and overspend when using Buy Now, Pay Later services because they are able to break up the payment, and it can have a negative impact on your financial future.
On top of fees you receive for late or rejected payments, excessive purchases and missed payments can affect your credit score, and consequently your ability to secure a loan. So if you already have trouble managing finances and payments, these services may not be appropriate for you.
What percentage of people use Buy Now, Pay Later Services?
These services are most popular with people in their mid-20s to mid-30s, with this cohort making up over 40% of people who research Buy Now Pay Later services on ProductReview.com.au. From all age groups, women show slightly more interest in the service than men, accounting for 55% of visitors to relevant pages.
Payment Schedules and Instalments
Credit check and spend limit
AfterPay does not require a credit check to sign up, only a verification of identity. You must be at least 18-years old to sign up, and have an eligible debit or credit card to apply.
There is no hard limit on spending, and your allowable spending limit increases gradually over time.
Using AfterPay, you're able to break your payment into four fortnightly instalments, with the first instalment paid at the time of purchase. There is no flexibility in changing how much each payment is, or how often you make them.
How do you use the pay later option?
The AfterPay service is available both online and in-store. When paying online you select the AfterPay option at checkout. In store, simply scan the barcode on the AfterPay app at the counter of merchants who use the service.
Zip offers two different levels of payment programs to suit your level of purchase: Zip Pay and Zip Money.
Credit check and Eligibility
Zip does conduct credit checks on some customers.
- Zip Pay only requires a phone number and linked Facebook, Paypal or LinkedIn account.
- Zip Money asks for your address, employment status, income statement, and transaction history in order to be approved.
Zip Pay is free to join. Since Zip Money offers larger account credit for purchases, it incurs an establishment fee of between $25 and $299 depending on your credit limit.
The main difference between Zip Pay and Zip Money is that Zip Pay allows you to make purchases of up to $1,000, whereas Zip Money is for purchases between $1,000 to $5,000. The monthly limit will depend on your credit limit and will vary according to your contract.
Zip Pay is interest-free. Payments in the Zip Money plan are interest-free for the first three months of each purchase.
After three months, you'll pay interest of 19.9% p,a. Minimum repayment ranges from $40 to $299 each month, or a percentage of your balance owing, whichever is greater.
Flexible repayment options
One advantage Zip has over AfterPay is the flexibility it offers with payment plans: you have the option to set up weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayment schedules that suit you.
The only requirement is a minimum payment of $10 per week or $40 a month.
Additional Fees and Missed Payments
All ‘Buy Now, Pay Later Services’ charge a late fee if you miss a payment, it’s how they make a profit without charging interest. Each company has different fees and conditions, so make sure you read into them before choosing a service.
AfterPay is free to use as long as you don’t miss any payments. It has zero interest, and no joining fees.
What happens if I miss an Afterpay payment?
For late fees on purchase amounts $40 or under, you are charged a $10 late fee if you miss an automatic payment, followed by a $7 fee if you fail to repay that missed instalment within 7 days of the due date.
For orders between $40 and $272, the late fee is capped at 25% of the purchase price.
For purchase amounts over $272, this late fee is capped at 25% of the purchase price or $68, whichever is less.
If you miss a payment, your account is suspended and you cannot use AfterPay on any new purchases until your payments are up to date.
AfterPay also have a Hardship Policy to help you out if something unexpected happens to you or your circumstances change.
Assessed on a case-by-case basis, it gives you the possibility to come up with a new payment plan, extend the term of your payment arrangement so you can make smaller payments over a longer period, or avoid extra fees.
It offers support to people in a range of circumstances caused by: COVID-19, natural disasters, redundancy, recent unemployment, sudden illness, relationship breakdown and other personal reasons.
Zip charges a $6 monthly account fee if you have a balance, but this fee is waived if the closing balance is paid by the due date.
If you use Zip Pay or Zip Money to pay bills you’ll be charged a 1.5% payment processing fee.
Late and dishonour fees
If the minimum repayment amount is not paid within 21 days after the due date, a late fee will be charged - $5 for Zip Pay, and $15 for Zip Money. Zip also charges ‘dishonour’ fees, charged if a scheduled payment was rejected by the bank due to insufficient funds or incorrect bank account details.
Like AfterPay, Zip also has a hardship policy. It takes into account individual circumstances such as: income changes, recently losing a job or having hours cut back, a relationship breakdown, injury, illness, natural disasters or other emergencies.
A request for hardship assistance is not a given; Zip will assess on a case-by-case basis. If it decides to help, Zip may devise a temporary alternative payment arrangement until you can resume your normal payments.
Terms and Conditions
While most information is available on the Zip website, Zip do not make their Terms & Conditions readily available for public viewing. This makes it different from AfterPay, and here Zip loses some points in the transparency department.
Latitude Pay gives you interest-free payments of up to $1,000. The automatic plan is set to 10-week instalments, so you only pay 10% up front and the remaining in 9 weekly instalments.
You also have the option to pay your balance off at an earlier date. They do conduct credit checks during your application, and charge late fees of $10 for purchases less than $50, and $50 for purchases up to $1,000.
Openpay has more fees compared to other 'Buy Now, Pay Later’ services. There is an establishment fee to set up your account, a plan management fee and redraw fee that applies to some plans. The missed payment fee is $9.50, and if you fail to pay that missed instalment 8 days after your due date, it's an additional $19.50.
If you make a return or get a refund, you don’t get the plan management fee refunded, so better off going for something that doesn’t charge instalment fees at all.
The bottom line
Overall, choosing to sign up with a Buy Now, Pay Later service may seem like a convenient solution as a shopper that's too good to pass up.
However, it's important to be aware of the financial implications in the event that you can't make repayments on time. Entering into a contract knowing the terms and conditions, and knowing you can afford any financial penalties should they arise, can help give you peace of mind that a BNPL service is right for you.