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UK's "Buy Now, Pay Later" Surge Spurs Call for Regulation

UK's "Buy Now, Pay Later" Surge Spurs Call for Regulation

The UK sees a dramatic rise in "buy now, pay later" (BNPL) transactions with monthly online spending hitting £1.7bn, raising debt concerns. With the market's size quadrupling since 2020 and expected to reach £30bn in 2024, debt advisers report a tripling in people needing help with BNPL debts. The government had promised urgent regulation three years ago, but action has been delayed. Campaigners and MPs are now pushing for immediate regulatory measures, as more consumers, including those affected by the cost of living crisis, are at risk of unmanageable debt. Providers like Klarna argue that consumer safeguards are in place, but the lack of comprehensive regulation means users are vulnerable, with a reported 35% using BNPL to pay for groceries and 20% missing payments.

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