The Era of Uncertainty: Buy Now, Pay Later

What Short-Term Challenges and Long-Term Changes Mean for Providers and Retailers Right Now

About This Report
BNPL providers are in the eye of a perfect storm, as investor and regulatory scrutiny, increasing competition, and the prospect of recession put them at risk. But it’s still early days—and we see foresee a long growth runway. Read on to learn how retailers and providers can navigate the current landscape to their maximum benefit.

Executive Summary

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) usage has exploded in the US, as consumers flock to installment loans that blend the flexibility of credit, short repayment terms, and app-based shopping into a simple, easy user experience. But investor and regulatory scrutiny, increasing competition, and a pending recession are putting BNPL providers at risk.

Key Question: What are the short- and long-term challenges of BNPL, and what do they mean for providers and retailers?

KEY STAT: We forecast that Klarna, Afterpay, and Affirm count close to 70 million users on their BNPL platforms. But newer entrants Block, PayPal, and Apple draw from larger, more diversified user bases, increasing the pressure.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. BNPL Challenges Not for the Faint of Heart
  3. Short-Term Changes
  1. Long-Term Changes
  2. What It All Means for Retailers and Providers
  3. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

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David Morris


Daniel Decea
Researcher, Financial Services
Jaime Toplin
Senior Analyst