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  • Writer's pictureEdwina Walker

LAYAWAY---BUT UPGRADED

Updated: Dec 17, 2022


Layaway plans got a facelift, and I must say that I kind of like this new face better than the first one lol. With the old layaway plans, you had to wait until completing payment on your item(s) before the store would give them to you, but with the new BNPL providers—the game has changed!


You’re probably thinking what is a BNPL?! Lemme explain—BNPL is just an acronym for the companies that allow people to buy what they want now, but pay later. So…buy now pay later. I thought I knew everything there was to know about these companies (which was just their basic service-offering of getting now and paying later), but a recent conversation with a client sent me down the BNPL rabbit hole, and apparently not all BNPL’s are created equal. Who knew lol.

The client’s question was whether to offer all BNPL’s on her site, a couple, or just one…and how to choose one if you decided to go the route of only offering a sole BNPL provider. I learned more than I ever needed to know about these payment options, but I’ll spare you and just give you the bullet points that differentiate each provider.





  • The #1 provider in the space right now with 147 million active users in 2022

  • Offers the Pay in 4 payment plan & the Pay Later in 30 Days, with 0 interest

  • $7 late fee for the Pay in 4 plan, and $27 for the Pay in 30 Days plan

  • The biggest pro for using KLARNA is that it’s the most widely-used platform so there’s a good chance that a lot of your customers will have an account with them





  • With 11.2 million active users as of 2022, they are the #2 provider of BNPL services

  • Offers multiple repayment plan options

  • Only charges interest in some transactions, not all





  • They are 3rd on the list, with 10.5 million global active users

  • They offer only 1 payment plan option: 6 weeks

  • They charge 0 interest, but late payment fees can go as high as 25% of the original payment amount






  • 3.4 million active users globally

  • 1 payment plan option: 6 weeks

  • They don’t charge interest

  • Missed payments = your acc’t gets deactivated and you have to pay $10 to get it back

  • The USP (unique selling proposition) for them is that they’re a B Corp certified business—meaning that they’re committed to corporate transparency and accountability to stakeholders at every level of business


These are just the top 4 companies that are worth mentioning right now simply because of their market share, but there are other service providers out there that I left off the list to keep things simple. I also have no doubt that we will continue to see new BNPL payment providers pop-up here and there because this industry is booming. In fact, based on all my research I think that within the next 5-10 years the majority of e-com transactions in the US will be paid for using BNPL service providers.



The bottom line is that having at least one of these options on your site is a MUST, not an option. In my research I learned that here in the US, we are wayyyyy behind on using BNPL’s for e-com. In 2020, only 2% of e-com transactions were paid with BNPL’s, as compared to the 20% and higher in countries like Brazil, Germany, Sweden and Australia—in fact AfterPay and Sezzle were both founded in Australia.



This means that there’s TREMENDOUS growth for the US market since we’re a country that already loves to buy with credit! You’d be surprised how many people DON’T know about these BNPL payment options, so it would be a great idea to include some nurturing emails in your email marketing plan that will educate your customers about the pro’s of using whichever BNPL platform that you offer on your site—almost like a little case study for example. If they don’t have an account already, chances are that they’ll run to sign up and come back to make a purchase with you!


You don’t always have to sell to people to get them to buy into you. Most people really appreciate companies that aim to inspire and expose them to different things while also selling to them, not just companies that scream BUY, BUY, BUY!! Educating your email list about how they can best leverage your BNPL provider is a great strategy to build rapport and brand loyalty!


And finally, to answer the question that inspired this post lol, I would go with KLARNA if I could only choose 1 provider because they have the largest market share with users and retailers. KLARNA and AFTERPAY would be my choices if I could choose 2 providers, because AFTERPAY offers an easy-to-understand payment plan; and if my business was centered around consciousness in any way, then I would choose SEZZLE because I feel like my clients/customers would really appreciate the brand alignment. Regarding how many to put on your site, most retailers seem to have one option only, at most two. More than that and your site runs the risk of looking cluttered and messy.


So if you don’t have one of these payment options on your site already, get one like yesterday. And if you have at least one on there already, think about how you can educate your customers more about BNPL providers and how they can use them to buy with you. Data shows that they’ll shop more often AND spend more! Talk about a win-win!



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