Buy now, pay later expanding to storefronts and gas pumps

Klarna says BNPL options are fairer and more sustainable than credit cards

Buy now, pay later services are expanding into retail stores and gas pumps as the popularity of this financing option grows.  (iStock)

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) — the traditionally-online financing option that allows consumers to pay off their purchases in installments — is making the pivot to also be available in stores and at gas pumps.

BNPL has become increasingly popular in recent years and is expected to reach $680 billion in transaction volume across the world by 2025, according to Insider Intelligence’s Buy Now, Pay Later Report.

As the COVID-19 pandemic forced many consumers to shop online more, the use of BNPL services began to rise. And now some BNPL companies have begun offering their services for in-store transactions. 

Among them is BNPL provider Klarna, who in late February announced a multi-year partnership with Brookfield Properties, a global real estate developer and operator, to bring its payments to Brookfield’s portfolio of more than 150 shopping centers in the U.S. 

If you are looking for an alternative financing option or need help paying off debt, you can consider a personal loan. Visit Credible to find your personalized interest rate without affecting your credit score.

Some gas stations accept BNPL

BNPL provider Zip (formerly Quadpay) has a partnership with Chevron, allowing drivers to pay for their gas in four installments over a six-week span. Zip also said its services are available through its app anywhere Visa is accepted. 

Klarna also has been in partnership with Chevron since 2021. The company said it has protections in place to ensure its customers are not overspending or missing payments as its services expand. 

"Our products are interest free, with clear, short term repayment plans, allowing consumers to pay off their balance without accruing interest and eligibility checks to protect them from accumulating debt," a Klarna spokesperson said. "Our safeguards include the ability to manage budget and spending all in our Klarna app and restricting our services after a missed payment. This is fairer and more sustainable compared to credit cards who intentionally keep people in debt with high interest rates and minimum payments. If a customer is struggling to pay, we have specialist support available 24/7 and will help them come up with a repayment plan to get them back on track."

If you have used multiple BNPL options and are looking to consolidate your debt, you could consider using a personal loan. Visit Credible to compare multiple lenders at once and choose the one with the best interest rate for you.

More than 73% of shoppers expected to embrace mobile shopping

BNPL firms are expanding during a time when more consumers are using mobile apps to pay for their purchases, according to a recent survey from Klarna. This could be an opportunity for BNPL, as consumers can also make mobile payments when making an in-person purchase.

Virtual cards are becoming more popular, and more than 73% of U.S. shoppers said they are looking to embrace digital cards in the future, the survey said. Additionally, about 94% of consumers have shopping apps installed on their mobile phones.

"Consumers are increasingly mobile-oriented when it comes to how they shop and engage with the brands they love," Raji Behal, Klarna head of U.S. partner success, said. "They are not just using their phones to shop online – they’re also using them in-store to research products, search for price comparisons, and more."

"This preference towards mobile is driving significant behavioral changes among consumers, who can access the world at their fingertips and are therefore demanding greater convenience and flexibility while shopping," Behal said. "This is particularly true within the US market, which – according to our research – is the only country where consumers are more likely to prefer shopping on mobile over computers."

If you want to compare BNPL services with other available loan options, you can contact Credible to speak to a loan expert and get all of your questions answered.

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