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Buy Now, Pay Later Apps in 2023

19 min.

As technology advances, the way we buy and sell products and services is also changing. Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) apps are one of the latest trends in the financial market, offering customers the ability to make purchases without upfront costs while spreading the payment over an extended period. With this new way of shopping, many companies are investing in BNPL apps to attract more customers, especially the younger generation, who prefer flexible payment options.

Buy Now, Pay Later Apps in 2023

In this article, we will look at the growth and importance of BNPL apps in the financial market and what we can expect from them in 2023.

What are buy Now, Pay Later Apps

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) apps are a relatively new payment model that has gained popularity in recent years. These apps are essentially digital platforms that allow users to purchase goods and services upfront but defer their payment for a later date. Instead of paying the full amount at the time of purchase, the app offers users the option to pay in installments over a specified period, usually ranging from a few weeks to several months.

The rise of BNPL apps is largely due to the popularity of e-commerce and online shopping. Consumers are increasingly turning to online shopping due to the convenience and accessibility it offers. However, not everyone can afford to pay for their purchases upfront, especially during uncertain economic times. BNPL apps address this issue by providing a flexible payment method that allows users to make purchases without breaking the bank.

BNPL apps are typically very user-friendly and easy to use. Users can easily sign up, create an account, and start making purchases within minutes. The payment process is also straightforward, with users being able to choose from a range of installment options at the checkout. Some apps even offer interest-free financing, making it more appealing to users who want to avoid paying high interest rates.

While BNPL apps have many advantages, there are some potential drawbacks to consider as well. One of the risks associated with BNPL apps is the temptation to overspend. Because users can defer payment, it can be easy to accumulate more debt than they can handle. It's also important to note that some BNPL apps may charge high fees or interest rates, which can add up over time.

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Pros and Cons of Buy Now, Pay Later Apps


  • Convenience. BNPL apps provide the convenience of shopping without having to pay for the product upfront. This helps customers manage their finances better.

  • No interest or fees. Some BNPL apps do not charge interest or fees if the customer pays on time.

  • Increase in sales. BNPL apps can increase sales for retailers as customers are more likely to make purchases if they can spread the payments over a few weeks or months.

  • Easy to use. These apps are user-friendly and can be accessed easily from a smartphone or other mobile devices.


  • Debt accumulation. BNPL apps can lead customers to accumulate more debt than they can handle, especially if they have multiple purchases on different payment plans.

  • High-interest rates and fees. Some BNPL apps charge high-interest rates and fees for missed payments, which can add to the overall cost of the product.

  • Impulsivity. The ease of purchasing with BNPL apps can lead to impulsivity, with customers making purchases they may not need.

  • Credit score impact. Because purchases made with BNPL apps may not show up on a customer's credit report immediately, it can negatively impact their credit score if they miss a payment.

How to Choose the Best buy Now, Pay Later App

Buy now, pay later apps have gained immense popularity in the US market in recent years. These apps allow consumers to purchase goods and services without paying the full price upfront, instead spreading the payment over installments. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best buy now, pay later app:

  1. Interest rates and fees. The first thing to consider when choosing a buy now, pay later the app is the interest rates and fees charged by the provider. Lower fees and interest rates will ensure that you pay less overall for your purchases.

  2. Eligibility requirements. Some providers may have strict eligibility requirements, such as minimum credit scores, making it harder to qualify. Look for providers that have less stringent requirements that you can easily meet.

  3. Payment flexibility. Check whether the app offers payment flexibility in terms of installment amounts and frequency. Ideally, the app should be able to accommodate your budget and offer payment frequency options that suit your lifestyle.

  4. Merchant network. Ensure that the buy now, pay later app has a wide merchant network. This ensures that you can use the app to make purchases at your preferred retailers or stores.

  5. Security. It is critical to choose a buy now, pay later app that provides adequate security measures to protect your personal and financial information. Look for apps that use encryption to secure your data and have two-factor authentication options.

  6. User reviews. Be sure to read online reviews of the app to gauge user experiences, including customer service, payment and repayment processes, and app usability. Check if the company has received any complaints or negative feedback.

When to use a buy Now, Pay Llater App vs. a Credit Card

The decision to use a buy now, pay later app versus a credit card in the USA depends on various factors, including individual preferences and financial situation. Both options come with advantages and disadvantages, and understanding these can help users make informed choices.

BNPL apps

Buy now, pay later apps allow users to purchase items they may not be able to afford upfront and pay for them in installments. These apps are ideal for people who do not want to use a credit card due to high-interest rates or the risk of falling into debt. Buy now, pay later apps typically offer lower interest rates or no interest rates, allowing users to spread the cost of their purchases over a longer period. Additionally, some apps may offer rewards or loyalty programs that can save users money.

However, buy now, pay later apps may also come with hidden fees, such as late payment fees, failed payment fees, or processing fees. Users may also be required to undergo a credit check, and their credit score can affect their eligibility for the service. Moreover, users may need to make regular payments, which can add up and affect their monthly budget.

Credit cards

On the other hand, credit cards offer flexibility and convenience as users can make purchases wherever cards are accepted. They also offer rewards programs, such as cashback or travel points, that can save users money. In addition, some cards come with 0% introductory rates on purchases or balance transfers, allowing users to consolidate debt or make big purchases without a need to pay interest.

However, credit cards also come with high-interest rates, making it easy to fall into debt if users do not pay their balances in full each month. Users may also be required to undergo a credit check through major credit bureaus to open a credit card account and maintain regular payments to avoid negative impacts on their credit history.

When deciding whether to use a buy now, pay later app, or a credit card, users should consider their financial situation and spending habits. If users cannot afford to pay upfront for a purchase and can commit to regular payments, then using a buy now, pay later app may be the better choice. However, if users have a good credit score, pay their balances in full each month, have good payment history, and want to earn rewards, then a credit card may be the better option.

Top 6 buy Now, Pay Later Apps

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) apps have become increasingly popular in recent years. These apps allow consumers to make purchases without paying upfront, instead spreading the cost over a set period of time. Here are the top six BNPL apps currently available in the USA:

  1. Afterpay is one of the leading BNPL apps available in the USA. It allows users to split purchases into four interest-free payments over six weeks. Afterpay is available at a wide range of merchants across a variety of industries, including fashion, beauty, home goods, and more.

  2. Affirm allows users to split purchases into easy monthly payments. The app offers competitive interest rates and flexible payment options with no hidden fees or late fees. Affirm is accepted at a variety of retailers, including popular brands like Casper, Peloton, and Expedia.

  3. Klarna offers a variety of payment options, including installment payments, pay later options, and flexible financing. The app is accepted by a range of popular retailers, including Sephora, H&M, and Adidas. Klarna also offers a rewards program that offers discounts and cashback on purchases.

  4. ZipCo. It offers users the ability to split purchases into four interest-free payments over six weeks. The app is accepted by a wide range of merchants across various categories, including fashion, home goods, and electronics. ZipCo also offers a virtual card for easy access to funds.

  5. Sezzle allows users to split purchases into four interest-free payments over six weeks. The app is accepted at a variety of popular retailers, including Toms, Gymshark, and Untuckit. Sezzle also offers a rewards program that allows users to earn points for making timely payments.

  6. Splitit allows users to split purchases into interest-free payments using their existing credit cards. The app is accepted by a variety of popular retailers, including Microsoft, Lenovo, and Garmin. Splitit also offers a budgeting feature that allows consumers to set a credit limit and manage their expenses.

BNPL apps can be a convenient way to make purchases without paying upfront. However, it's important to note that these apps are not a substitute for responsible budgeting and financial management. Before using a BNPL app, consumers should carefully consider their budget and their ability to make timely payments. Additionally, consumers should be aware of any fees associated with these apps and make sure they understand the terms and conditions before using them.

Alternatives to buy Now, Pay Later Apps

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) apps may not be the best choice for everyone, and there is a range of alternative payment options available.

  1. A traditional credit card. While credit cards do charge interest, they often offer rewards and cashback, which can offset some of the costs. Additionally, if the balance is paid off in full each month, a credit card can be a more affordable option than BNPL apps. It is important to remember that using credit cards responsibly and making payments on time is essential to maintaining good credit.

  2. Layaway programs. It allows consumers to reserve an item for a small deposit and pay off the remaining balance over a period of time. This option can be cost-effective, as there are no interest charges. However, it may not be suitable for consumers who need the item immediately, as layaway programs typically involve a waiting period before the item can be collected.

  3. Rent-to-own programs. Consumers can rent an item for a period of time while making payments towards ownership. While this option can be more expensive in the long run due to interest charges and associated fees, it can be useful for those who cannot afford a large upfront payment.

  4. In-house financing options. They allow consumers to spread the cost of a purchase over a set period of time, often with 0% financing. However, it is important to read the terms and conditions carefully, as these types of financing arrangements can come with hidden fees and penalties.

  5. Save up for the item you want to purchase and avoid credit altogether. While this may require some self-discipline and patience, it can ultimately save money and help consumers avoid going into debt.


How do you qualify for pay in four?

Pay in 4 is a payment option that allows consumers to split their purchase into four equal payments over a six-week period, making it easier to manage expenses. To qualify for pay in 4, customers must meet a few basic requirements. First, they must be at least 18 years old and have a valid credit or debit card. They must also have a stable source of income, as Afterpay (the company behind Pay in 4) performs a soft credit check to determine a customer's ability to make payments. Additionally, customers may be required to provide additional information, such as their address and phone number, to verify their identity.

What websites do pay in 4?

Pay in 4 is offered by a growing number of online retailers, including many popular brands. Some of the websites that currently offer Pay in 4 as a payment option include: PayPal, Afterpay, Klarna, Zip, Affirm, Sezzle, ViaBill, Perpay, and Zebit.

Does PayPal not do pay in 4 anymore?

PayPal previously offered a "Pay in 4" payment option that was similar to Afterpay's service. However, in 2020, PayPal announced that it had partnered with rival company Klarna to offer a new program called "Pay in 4 with Klarna." This allows PayPal Pay users in the US to split their purchases into four interest-free payments, with the first due at the time of purchase and subsequent payments due every two weeks. The program is available for purchases of $30 to $600, and there is no additional cost to use it.

Can you do more than 4 installments on Afterpay?

At this time, Afterpay's payment plans are limited to four installments over a six-week period. However, if a customer misses a payment or is late with a payment, they may be charged a late fee and be restricted from using the service until the issue is resolved. Afterpay does offer an option to reschedule a payment up to three times per plan, but customers are responsible for making sure they have enough funds in their bank account to cover the installment payment when it's due.

What app lets me buy now, pay later?

Several apps offer a buy now, pay later option that allows users to split their purchase into smaller payments over time. Some popular options include:

  • Afterpay. Afterpay allows customers to split their purchase into four equal payments over six weeks with no interest or fees. The company offers a mobile app, as well as a website, for users to shop and manage their payments.

  • Klarna. Klarna offers a range of payment options, including "Pay in 4" and "Pay Later" plans, which allow customers to defer payment for up to 30 days. The app offers a one-click checkout option for users, as well as personalized recommendations based on their shopping history.

  • Affirm. Affirm offers installment loans for purchases ranging from $50 to $17,500, with repayment periods of three, six, or 12 months. The app also provides a virtual card that can be used for online purchases.

  • Zip. It allows customers to split their purchase amount into four interest-free payments over six weeks. The app features a virtual card that can be used for online and in-store purchases, and customers can manage their payments and view their transaction history within the app.

  • Sezzle. Sezzle offers a buy now, pay later option that allows customers to split their purchase into four interest-free payments over six weeks. The app also offers an option to build credit by making on-time payments.

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