Unearth Your Fortune

By Maddy Scheckel

March 9, 2023

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Over 50% of Americans under 55 years old use Buy Now, Play Later (BNPL) services.

If you think BNPL is restricted to lower-income folks, you’d be mistaken! Over 40% of households with an income over $100,000 use BNPL.

I’ll share the most revealing Buy Now, Pay Later statistics to give you a full picture of this $179.5 billion industry. 

This is a fast-growing space that has more than doubled in size over the past few years.

What Is Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)?

Buy Now, Pay Later services typically enable you to get your product right away by agreeing to no-interest installment payments. The first payment is due when you checkout.

BNPL can be a good deal if you pay your installments in full and on time. Otherwise, the BNPL service may charge you a late fee.

It’s also easier for most people to be approved for a BNPL purchase compared to getting approved for a credit card.

BNPL services make money by charging stores a fee. These stores and eCommerce websites know customers want to use BNPL, so it’s worth it for them to pay for it.

With increasing popularity among consumers and retail businesses, many BNPL companies have emerged over the last few years. 

Throughout the pandemic, there was a huge uptick in online shopping, and in turn, BNPL usage skyrocketed from 2019 to 2021 in the U.S. among five major lenders alone, from 16.8 to 180 million in loans originated. As of 2022, there are an estimated 360 million users globally, a figure expected to more than double in the next five years.

Getting approved for BNPL financing is a piece of cake and can be done within a matter of seconds in most cases. You’ll want to first make sure the merchant works with a BNPL lender.  If shopping online, this payment option will usually appear at checkout. 

Some of the major BNPL companies that you’re likely to see are Affirm, Klarna, and Perpay.  All of which offer similar structures for payments.

Buy Now Pay Later financing can be used for most retail purchases, including everything from appliances and electronics to furniture and clothing. If you’re in the market for a new TV, this may be a great option for you, considering Americans have paid an average of $120 billion in credit card interest and fees over the last several years. 

While there are a number of benefits for both consumers and merchants alike, there are, of course, some potential risks to consider before deciding if BNPL financing is right for your next purchase. 

Although you won’t have to worry about interest fees if you miss a payment, your credit score could be impacted.  We all know how addicting online shopping can sometimes be, and having the convenience to buy now and pay later may increase the chances of impulse buying something you end up realizing you don’t really want or need.

No one wants to have to break the bank when it comes to shopping, especially with the threat of rising inflation.  Whether you are a consumer or a small business looking to partner with a BNPL lender, we’ve compiled a list of buy now, pay later statistics to help you decide if it is right for you.

Top Buy Now, Pay Later Statistics

The rapid growth of BNPL users across the world has happened mostly over the last three years.  In 2022 there are an estimated 360 million people using BNPL services. Consumer spending using BNPL as of 2022 has hit a staggering $112 billion.

A recent study by The Ascent showed that 67% of BNPL users believe that credit cards could soon be replaced by BNPL services. Another study found that 59% of consumers admitted to purchasing an item that they otherwise would not be able to afford.

Buy Now, Pay Later Use By Age Group

Age Group






BNPL usage by %






BNPL usage varies greatly based on age, with younger generations using the service the most 
Source: Statista

Over 60% of Americans under the age of 45 use BNPL.  And these Buy Now, Pay Later statistics are similar for Americans 18-24 in age.

Not only do the younger generations use BNPL, but 4 out of 10 Americans 54 or older do as well.  A clearly increasingly popular payment method across age groups!

Buy Now, Pay Later Use By Household Income in the U.S.

Median household incomes of $50,000-$74,999 tend to use BNPL services the most
Source: Chargeafter

Households with an average income between $50,000-$74,999 are most likely to use BNPL services, but percentages are fairly similar across income brackets. 

With more and more younger people using BNPL and no sign of a decrease in spending in higher-earning households, these numbers are expected to increase on both spectrums.

Most Common Reasons People Use Buy Now, Pay Later

Most people in the U.S. use BNPL services as a way to spread out large purchases over time
Source: Reasons for Using Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Services – Marketing Charts

A recent poll conducted by Forbes Advisor shows that the main reason people use BNPL services is to reduce the impact of a big purchase.  

The next three most common reasons all go hand in hand, highlighting the convenience factor of BNPL financing. 13% of US users within this sample size stated not being able to get approved for a credit card as a reason.

Amount Owed By People Who Use Buy Now, Pay Later

Buy now, pay later statistics show that the average amount of debt people carry with BNPL services is $100 or less
Source: C+R Research

At 28%, amounts under $100 are the most common number owed to BNPL companies.  As the dollar amount owed increases, there is a significant drop in the percentage of people in those categories. 

BNPL Trends

Trends in Buy Now, Pay Later statistics in recent years can give a good idea of how consumers and businesses might continue to adopt BNPL financing in the future. As BNPL solidifies itself in the finance world, banks have begun to look into regulating BNPL products.  

70% of BNPL users say they would prefer BNPL services offered by their bank over financial technology companies.

Another interesting development is the idea of merchants offering their own BNPL services instead of a third-party provider.

Popular BNPL trends:

  • Demand for BNPL product regulation

As traditional lenders and banks start to see the benefits and explosive rise in BNPL services, they have begun to dip their toes in the BNPL world.  Some banks, like U.S. Bank, have already come out with a BNPL product with 0% interest.

  • Partnerships between banks and financial technology companies

With rising inflation, tech companies in the BNPL world and banks looking to get involved have started focusing on their core competencies and partnering together.  Traditional banks are better equipped to deal with the threat of inflation, while tech companies can focus on product speed, flexibility, and spending on IT resources.

  • Merchants offering their own BNPL services

Customer loyalty has become a crucial factor in maintaining a profitable e-commerce or physical retail business, with immense competition posing a threat.

Is Buy Now, Pay Later Good For Businesses?

There are both pros and cons to integrating BNPL services into your business. While many would argue the advantages outweigh the drawbacks, it may come down to the products that your business offers and your customer demographic.  

Here are key points to consider.


  • Potential to increase audience

By allowing payment installments, shops can make their products more affordable.  In turn, you can sell to a wider audience. 

  • Increased conversion rates

A conversion rate is basically the number of customers that visit your storefront or online

store that ends up purchasing a product.  With the help of installments, some customers will find the product more attractive, causing them to purchase it when they otherwise might not.


  • Challenges with integration

There are usually costs associated with integrating BNPL services into your business which can stack up before you start to realize any potential benefits.  Those that are not so tech-savvy may struggle with this, and it is recommended to first reach out to a third-party provider.

  • Risk of encouraging consumer debt

The last thing you want is an unhappy customer.  If your products can be categorized as impulse buys with a hefty price tag, you may want to monitor BNPL usage through your store.  While they are often considered consumer friendly, some people can get in over their heads.

Commonly Asked Questions About Buy Now, Pay Later Statistics

What Percentage of People Use Buy Now, Pay Later?

Data recently conducted by C+R Research indicates that 60% of people have tried using BNPL services before. That is a Buy Now Pay Later statistic that is expected to continue to grow yearly. 46% of people are current users with active payments.

How Many Consumers Use Buy Now, Pay Later?

There are over 360 million BNPL users worldwide, a number projected to more than double by 2027.

How Big Is The Buy Now, Pay Later Market?

The BNPL market has seen exponential growth in the past couple of years, and as of 2022, it is estimated to account for about $179.5 billion dollars.

Who Is The Target Audience For Buy Now, Pay Later?

The target audience for BNPL companies lies mostly in the younger generations.  Gen Z engagement in BNPL has increased a great amount recently, and nearly half of Gen Z is believed to use it.  Millennials also make up a big portion of the target audience.

Does Buy Now, Pay Later Increase Sales?

Adopting a BNPL service can definitely help increase sales for several reasons:

  • Allows customers to pay in installments, where they might otherwise not purchase the product.
  • Ease of use 
  • No fees
  • In some cases, no need to enter credit card or debit card information

Buy Now, Pay Later Delinquency Rate?

A recent C+R Research study shows that 56% of BNPL users admit to having fallen behind on payments before, and 46% believe they will have to make a late payment within a year.

Why is Buy Now, Pay Later So Popular?

BNPL services have gained popularity with consumers and businesses because of the relative ease of use, options for no interest, and the ability to make installment payments on a wide range of products. Buy now, pay later statistics show the popularity through the increase in loans originated and amount spent. The increase in online shopping during the pandemic and the financial stress for consumers also increased its popularity.

What Is The Buy Now, Pay Later Market?

Here are the top product categories that BNPL users say they purchase.

  • Clothing (47%)
  • Electronics (44%)
  • Furniture (32%)
  • Appliances (29%)
  • Housewares (23%)

Buy Now, Pay Later Trends?

Here is a list of some consumer trends in BNPL services.

  • Consumers use BNPL to make purchases outside of their budget 45% of the time.
  • The average amount that consumers spent on their last purchase using BNPL was $689.
  • 38% of users believe BNPL services will eventually replace their credit cards.


Popular Buy Now, Pay Later Apps Reviewed:

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