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The BNPL Boom: Why Installment Plans Are Here to Stay

The BNPL Boom: Why Installment Plans Are Here to Stay

Consumers are increasingly encountering installment plans at checkouts, akin to those offered by "buy now, pay later" (BNPL) services. These options, popularized by companies like Afterpay, Affirm, and Klarna, allow customers to split purchases into several interest-free payments. Although the pandemic saw a surge in BNPL adoption, its growth has slowed. Nonetheless, major credit card companies and retailers are integrating these plans to capture and retain customers. American Express, for example, has expanded its "Plan It" program, while Walmart has introduced an in-house BNPL option. Despite an overall decline in BNPL usage, its appeal remains strong, particularly among younger consumers and those with strained finances. High-income users are gravitating towards credit card installment plans, which often come with rewards and lower interest rates. As economic pressures persist, experts predict continued innovation in installment-based financing, catering to diverse consumer needs.

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