Mastercard Enters ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ Battle

Mastercard is entering the competitive installment loan market by letting banks and start-ups expand their own “buy now, pay later” offers.

On Tuesday, the payments company announced a new program called “Mastercard Installments” for the US, Australia, and the United Kingdom, which will go live in the first quarter of next year. Buyers can split up purchases into monthly, often interest-free payments with this increasingly popular lending style.

MasterCard does not make direct loans to customers. Its network acts as a go-between in the credit and debit card payment processes. In this case, it will allow banks and fintech to “plugin” to the Mastercard program and directly offer loans.