Over the years, consumers looking to spread out the expense of large purchases have chosen Buy Now, Pay Later(BNPL) installment arrangements. However, as a result of escalating prices, some strapped for cash consumers are now turning to these alternative payment options for regular purchases like their morning coffee, gas station fill-up, or grocery run.
BNPL transactions are now expected to reach at least $100 billion yearly, with companies ranging from Affirm and Apple to PayPal and Zip. Analysts predict that within a few years, this number will soar to between $1 trillion and $4 trillion.
The growth in the usage of these services, along with a lack of transparency and weak regulatory monitoring, worries economists and consumer activists who are concerned about the debt Americans are accumulating.