payments

Buy Now, Pay Later Apps Grew How Much in 2019?

Layaway 2.0 is surging.
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Apptopia, Francis Scialabba

· less than 3 min read

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Customers are coming around to Layaway 2.0. Buy now, pay later app downloads surged 162% last year to nearly 6 million, according to Apptopia’s latest shopping report.

The details: The Holy Trinity of IOU apps—Klarna, Afterpay, and Affirm—are available at thousands of retailers worldwide. Anything from $55 Pat McGrath makeup to $1,975 David Yurman rings can be split into bite-size installments with these apps.

What’s behind the trend? A modern Meg March scenario: Wages are stagnant but young consumers want more (and prettier) things.

Why retailers are on board: Flexible payment plans increase average order value by 58% for Klarna users and 87% for Affirm users, the companies say. Klarna adds that checkout conversion rates also jump 30% for its retail partners.

But there’s danger for frequent spenders. Just like credit cards, buy now, pay later apps encourage customers to spend more than they have—and often lead to unexpected charges like late fees.

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