The number of ‘buy now pay later’ (BNPL) users is set to surpass 900 million globally by 2027, increasing from 360 million in 2022, reveals a new study from Juniper Research. According to the research firm, this substantial growth of 157% will be driven by the anticipated economic downturn, which will increase the demand for low-cost credit solutions.
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According to the research firm, this substantial growth of 157% will be driven by the anticipated economic downturn, which will increase the demand for low-cost credit solutions.
BNPL schemes enable consumers to spread the cost of their purchases without interest charges, making them a highly attractive alternative to credit cards. Additionally, BNPL services do not require hard credit checks and an increasing number of merchants are accepting this payment method; making it easier to access for consumers than traditional credit.
India to lead user growth
The research identified India as having potential for rapid growth in BNPL, with users predicted to grow from 25 million in 2022 to 116 million by 2027. This is due to rising e-commerce usage and growing interest in international goods available through online retailers.
In turn, it recommends that vendors build strategic partnerships with vendors in developing markets with established consumer bases, to successfully capitalise on this user growth and associated revenue.
Virtual cards to further boost usage
The research predicts that the adoption of virtual cards, where digital-only cards are used for purchases, will increase the usage of BNPL solutions, as they only require merchants to accept card payments – overcoming previous limitations on growth.
The advancement of virtual cards allows BNPL schemes to compete with credit cards; particularly in-store, where single-use BNPL cards can be used within a digital wallet to complete contactless transactions.
Juniper Research recommends that in order to compete in this highly competitive landscape, BNPL vendors must differentiate their services: including offering virtual cards, browser extensions that automatically facilitate BNPL payment services and digital loyalty schemes.