The coming Buy Now, Pay Later revolution: Big four banks are coming in.


I have now clients that are doing much of their business with a Buy Now, Pay Later  (BNPL) service. They have little choice as most users of BNPL have stopped using their credit card to spend goods. It makes sense if you hold a BNPL account and say you buy $20 in a shop on EFTPOS, they get surcharged 50 cents, so it costs him $20.50, and they have to pay now. If they buy the same product with a BNPL card, they get it for $20 and gets up to eight weeks to settle. 

The retailer's problem is that the current business model of the BNPL is to charge the retailers the fees. Then demand that the retailer does not pass on these costs. So to the retailer, the immediate problem with BNPL is that they are losing between 3 to 7 percent.  Many products my clients handle cannot afford these fees. 

For some items like Lay-by, most retailers, I see, will accept this loss. This is cheaper than monitoring the Lay-by, plus it avoids the current legal minefield of Lay-bys.

This is about to change with the Big Banks coming in. What the banks will be offering is a much bigger mass distribution of BNPL. According to the CBA bank, they will do a check on someone. If that person is seen as a reasonable risk, which seems to be everyone with an income source, they will offer them a BNPL option. If your customer uses this option, which I believe will work on your existing EFTPOS system, you have no added fees to you, the retailer. I am not sure whether you will know your customer is using BNPL.

If so, the retailer is looking at the BNPL market doubling in size and the fees coming down massively.

It is going to be big!

I did bring up with the CBA but did not answer is many products are not allowed with BNPL, e.g. live animals. We had to change our systems to make BNPL work because of this. Will they be permitted with commbank BNPL? Who knows? If the retailer does not know BNPL is used, how do they enforce this ban?


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