Buy now pay later payment services are increasing in popularity as they allow shoppers to take purchases home there and then, whilst enjoying a delay in payment terms or with the option to pay by instalments over a period of time.
These services are offered by retailers and service providers for one key benefit; so you can buy a product immediately and delay the payment.
As a valued Hume Bank customer we want to give you the run down on how these payment services work, let you know the pitfalls of the late fees you may pay and how to avoid getting into financial trouble if you're using these services.
What you need to know.
Platforms such as Afterpay and zipMoney allow you to spread the cost of a purchase over time without having to pay interest. Other platforms include Certegy Ezi-Pay, Oxipay and Openpay.
Buy now pay later isn't only offered for low-value purchases, like clothes and beauty products. Solar panels and health services can also be bought using buy now pay later services.
While interest-free finance isn't like a traditional loan, there are still costs involved and it's important to understand what you're getting into before you apply. Buy now pay later services are often advertised as 'interest-free' or '0% interest', but the cost will add up if you can't make the repayments on time.
Where you may get stung.
Here are some things to look out for if you’re using these services,
- Late fees - There's usually a late fee every time you miss a payment or pay late. These fees can add up over time.
- Monthly account-keeping fees - Some of these services charge you a fixed amount for every month you continue to use their service.
- Payment processing fees - You may be required to pay a fee for each payment, on top of your set repayment.
Hume Bank smart tip.
Always check the terms and conditions before you sign up, as they can be different for each buy now pay later service.
Stay in control with buy now pay later services.
While interest-free finance may be enticing, there are several factors to consider before using it. Hume Bank recommends you stay in control when you use a buy now pay later service by following these tips:
- Plan ahead: Make sure you can afford the full price and that the repayments fit into your budget. Consider any other bills or financial commitments due at the same time as your buy now pay later payments.
- Don't get into debt: Consider linking your buy now pay later account to your debit card instead of your credit card. That way you're using your own money and can avoid credit card interest.
- Don't overcommit: Whilst it’s enticing, stick to a limit and aim to have only one buy now pay later at a time if possible
- Credit record entry: Interest-free products are still a type of loan and are recorded on your credit history as such. Be cautious of overusing, or not repaying these products on time.
It’s no surprise that ‘buy now, pay later’ services continue to appeal to shoppers, as they make the purchase of new products appear seamless as you spread the interest free payments over a period of time.
Remember to consider the simple guidelines outlined above to assist you when utilising a third party ‘buy now, pay later’ service and keep control of your financial decisions.