Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services have been increasing in the market. This new payment method has become quite popular in Singapore with the rise of e-commerce and more people working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.
BNPL scheme allows consumers to spread their payment plans for purchases over short installment periods. A lot of people are using this service because they are attracted to the multiple small payments. Even customers who can afford the total amount might need to use this service to free up their cash flow.
Before signing up for this payment method, keep in mind that it’s not a good idea if you are low on cash. If you delay your monthly repayments, you’ll be charged late fees, just like a credit card.
How Does BNPL Work?
Splitting an expensive purchase into multiple installments has been in existence for years. Over the years, consumers have been using credit cards that offer 0% interest installment plans. However, BNPL has different terms and conditions.
BNPLs are commonly offered by non-bank startups. While they work like 0% interest installment plans, they don’t charge a processing fee or early repayment fees. Instead of these fees, they charge their partner merchants transaction costs.
However, you will still need to pay each installment on time. Otherwise, BNPL providers will charge you a late fee once you miss a payment according to the stipulated date. In addition, your account will be suspended until you’ve paid.
When applying for BNPL, ensure that you check whether it’s on the exclusion list that makes it eligible to spend tied to your credit card. Also, check the terms and conditions on your card before charging a purchase.
Buy Now Pay Later Comparison
Here are the common Buy Now Pay Later Singapore options you might encounter.
|Buy Now Pay Later Provider||Tenure||Late Payment Fee|
|Grab PayLater||4 months||$10|
|hoolah||3 months||From $5|
|OctiFi||3 months||From $15|
|Pace||3 months||From $10|
|Rely||3 months, 4 payments each two weeks||Up to $40|
If you are looking to sign up with a BNPL provider, you need to know the details about each provider before spending.
Atome is one of the most popular and aggressive BNPL providers. With both online and in-store presence, you need to scan and pay via QR code if you are making an in-store purchase.
This process is completed via your phone, which can be problematic for some clients. Atome has expanded to Hong Kong, Greater China, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
The Atome app has online shopping vouchers which enable customers to save money when buying things. When spending, you can compare the benefits of these vouchers compared to instalment payments.
Atome has a 3-month tenure; therefore, users are expected to finish making repayments within this period. Once you miss this schedule, you’ll be charged a late fee.
Late Payment Fee
The late fee is $15 and is capped at $30 per transaction. If you miss your second installment, Atome will charge you $15 and freeze your account.
Once you fail to pay this late fee of $15 plus the outstanding balance on the final month, the company will charge you another $15. Overall, total late charges don’t go past $30 for each transaction.
Atome’s customers can pay by debit or credit card.
2. Grab PayLater
Grab PayLater is seamlessly integrated to only support online transactions. Unlike Atome, Grab PayLater doesn’t allow customers to earn GrabRewards points. However, you can earn some points if you use the Grab PayLater Postpaid service, which enables customers to consolidate all their purchases in the Grab app into one bill.
In addition, these two options will only become available when you activate PayLater within the Grab app.
Grab paylater instalments tenure is 4 months, which means you should have paid off the purchase within this specified period to avoid incurring late payment charges.
Late Payment Fee
Grab PayLater has an administrative fee of $10 for every missed month and to reactivate a suspended account.
You can pay via GrabPay.
Compared to these other BNPL apps, Hoolah is one of the most renowned Buy Now Pay Later providers. This is because it has quite a large number of partner merchants.
Merchants who use this app have a cost-effective way to drive loyalty, affiliate marketing, and conversion. It’s also present for residents in Hong Kong and Malaysia.
Hoolah offers its customers a 3-month repayment frequency to pay off the order.
Late Payment Fees
For orders valued up to $99.99, the late repayment fees is $5, for $100 to $999.99, it’s $15 and $30 for orders valued $1,000.
Hoolah’s structure is quite confusing, which increases the risk of missing payments and incurring late charges. Therefore, to avoid incurring these charges and unknown penalties, it’s advisable to regularly keep up with your repayments.
Customers who use the Hoolah app can use their debit or credit cards to make repayments after a purchase.
Pace BNPL app is designed for Millennials. Launched in 2021, the app has more than 3,000 points of sales across Asia. Merchants are not required to pay an upfront fee, and they get paid upfront, days after the purchase has been made.
The repayment tenure for Pace is 3 months; therefore, users have to complete the repayments within this period.
Late Payment Fees
Just like Hoolah, the late fee structure for Pace is also confusing. On top of charging this fee, it increases according to the size of the order and how late you pay. Pace will charge you a $10 initial late fee which increases by $1 per day after the due date.
If your order is under $40, you will only be charged $10 on every order. However, if it’s above $40, the charges will be 25% of the order value. If this fee calculation is complicated for you, it’s better to pay as scheduled and avoid all the extra charges.
Users have the option to paying off the purchase with a debit or credit card.
The OctiFi interest-free installment plan allows users buying things to shop from participating merchants via the app or web portal. Compared to the others, OctiFi doesn’t have merchant-specific discounts or sign-up bonuses. In addition, their list of merchants is quite limited.
Similar to other providers, instalments for OctiFi can be made in 3 instalments.
Late Payment Fees
If your scheduled payout is late, you will be charged $15 for each late order. This late fee starts at $15 for orders valued up to S$999.99 and an additional $15 for each S$1,000 increase in order value. For instance, if you purchased a product worth S$1,000 and S$1,999, the late fee will be $30.
You can pay off your purchases using your credit or debit card.
Rely’s service enables customers to split their repayment plans into multiple repayments. The app has partnered with several merchants and retailers across Asia to provide this Buy Now Pay Later service.
The frequency is not like the other providers. Customers have the option to pay the instalments within three months or make four payments every two weeks.
Late Payment Fees
Rely’s structure is also pretty vague; users don’t get the exact amount they’ll pay if they miss the due date. The company charges $1 to $40, which also varies depending on the order value. To avoid problems, it’s better to double-check with their staff and get the exact fee on the purchases before signing up.
When repaying instalments, you can use your credit or debit card.
BNPL Vs. Credit Cards
If you want to switch from using credit cards 0% interest installment plans to Buy Now Pay Later, you need to know how the two stack up against each other.
Taking up a 0% interest instalment plan is a bad idea because you’ll be charged a processing fee and get penalized for paying off the installments early. With this plan, you have to pay according to the schedule.
If you want to split your purchases into installments, it’s advisable to use Buy Now Pay Later services because they are the lesser evil compared to cards. Their tenure is reasonably short, and you can repay the mini-loan early if you have the funds and the provider will not charge you.
You can consider the 0% credit card instalment plan if you have a substantial medical bill since some providers have this partnership with medical providers.
Is BNPL Right For You?
To determine whether Buy Now Pay Later is the right service for you, here are the pros and cons to consider.
Compared to credit cards and personal loans, using BNPL schemes will not cost you a lot of cash because there are no charges within the installment period. Find out the best personal loan in Singapore.
Don’t Need A Credit Card
You can shop from partner merchants without using a credit card. Most providers partner with international stores and brand-name retail stores like Zara; therefore, you can easily shop without applying for a card.
Low Barrier To Entry
If you want to open an account with a BNPL provider, it’s pretty easy to open, you don’t need any cash and the minimum age is 18.
Helps Manage Cash Flow
BNPL schemes are essential for financially responsible consumers. If you are able to pay off these installments within the stipulated periods, this plan can help you manage your personal finances. It also comes in handy for those shoppers with an irregular income or during challenging financial periods.
Ability To Purchase More Products
A lot of the younger generation don’t have substantial savings to afford most things. But with these plans, they are empowered and can make necessary purchases such as laptops without needing a debit card. However, when buying things, ensure that they are within your budget and that you can repay them.
Piled Up Debt
One of the biggest disadvantages of these plans is that you are chalking up debt. When you delay repayment, you are still piling up your debt. If your debt is going out of control, consider programs to manage your finances from Credit Counselling Singapore.
If you don’t repay the cash within the stipulated installment period or have other personal loans, you’ll incur additional charges making it more expensive.
Encourages Impulsive Buying
Since you don’t have to pay for the purchase in full, the products might appear affordable in the short term, which encourages overspending and impulsive buying. In addition, this makes it harder to track your spending leading to mismanagement of your finances and increased debt.
1. What Companies Offer Buy Now Pay Later?
The top BNPL providers are non-bank startups, including Atome, Pace, Rely, Grab PayLater, and Hoolah.
2. How Does Hoolah Make Money?
Hoolah makes cash from their partner merchants and retailers. They charge these merchants transaction charges.
3. Can Banks Do BNPL?
While most BNPL providers are non-bank startups, banks can also venture into this business and make money from partner merchants.
Buy Now Pay Later schemes are good for shoppers that want to split their purchases. They are ideal, especially in these current times when more people have switched to e-commerce.
- BNPL is more affordable because the companies don’t charge any fees unless you make a late repayment.
- You need to repay your installments within the scheduled period.
- You should only sign up for BNPL if you are confident about your income in the future and are disciplined to avoid debt.
Are you in need of immediate cash for any emergency or personal purposes? Contact Instant Loan – your number one financial partner. We will send you up to three loan quotes within 30 minutes or less from top Singapore financial institutions for free!