The Do’s and Don'ts of Buy Now Pay Later
For many Aussie shoppers, using Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) at the checkout has become as common as paying with a debit card. In fact, Mozo found that 5.8 million Aussies have at least one BNPL account.
But if you are one of the few who are yet to take this innovative payment method for a spin, it’s important to understand how to use it correctly. To get you off on the right foot, we’ve jotted down some do’s and don’ts of using Buy Now Pay Later.
Choose the right one for you
Over the last few years, Australia has welcomed more than ten Buy Now Pay Later platforms. Being spoilt for choice this way can initially sound like a shopper’s dream, but it can also bring on a feeling of uncertainty. It’s important to understand which BNPL option could be right for you, as it could help you save on unnecessary fees or charges.
If you are unsure of which BNPL would best suit your spending needs, it might be worth asking yourself the following questions:
- How often do I plan to use it?
- What kind of purchases will I be making?
- Do I want fewer or frequent installments?
You can find out which Buy Now Pay Later could be the right pick for you based on your spending by having a read of our BNPL options guide.
Only have one account
With interest-free spending up your sleeve, it can be tempting to take out multiple Buy Now Pay Later accounts. But trying to manage different repayment dates from a range of platforms is not an easy task and can quickly turn into a financial nightmare. So save yourself the turmoil and only stick to one BNPL account.
Set repayment reminders
If there’s one thing you want to avoid when it comes to BNPL it’s late payment fees. Depending on the platform you sign up for, late payment fees can range from $7 to $20.
Although Buy Now Pay Later providers generally send reminders for upcoming repayments to their customers, it might be worth jotting down instalment dates yourself. You can do this by adding them into your calendar or setting a reminder on your smartphone.
Link your credit card to your account
One of the biggest selling points for Buy Now Pay Later services is the fact that they’re interest-free, so it makes sense to avoid linking your credit card to your account. This is also a good idea because if you don’t manage to pay off the full balance on your credit card, you will start to incur interest on your BNPL spending. In this case, it’s best to link your debit card to your BNPL account.
Default or miss repayments
Another no-no when it comes to Buy Now Pay Later is missing or defaulting on your repayments. Other than the fact that you will incur a late payment fee, in some cases your BNPL provider may report any negative activity on your account to credit rating bureaus, which could result in a mark on your credit history.
We get it, having the chance to break up your spending into bite-sized installments sounds pretty good. But this spending freedom can lead to sporadic shopping and several installments that eat away at your savings. Keep things under control by limiting the amount of times you use BNPL, perhaps to once or twice a month.
Ready to start comparing your BNPL options? Have a read of our comprehensive Buy Now Pay Later guide.