54 Buy Now Pay Later Statistics to Unveil Payments Trends

June 6, 2023

buy now pay later statistics

Buy now pay later (BNPL) lets customers purchase products immediately and defer payments over time. Think of it as a digital-age layaway plan with the added bonus of being able to enjoy your purchases as soon as possible.

Consumers across the globe are embracing BNPL as an alternative to bank credit cards and loans. It's a way to manage cash flow, divide hefty costs into manageable installments, and satisfy the need for instant gratification with the click of a button. 

The appeal is palpable, particularly among younger generations who are cautious about debt but also engaged in e-commerce. From a business perspective, BNPL offers a value proposition. Retailers and e-commerce platforms utilize these services to enhance the customer experience, increase sales conversion rates, and attract a broader base. 

Many businesses use installment payment software to provide BNPL options to their customers. They cater to the “I want it now”' economy without adding immediate financial burden on their customers, instilling brand loyalty and promoting repeat purchases. Let's look at exciting BNPL statistics to understand the concept and how the market and users react.

Top buy now, pay later statistics

The BNPL concept means consumers can purchase goods and pay over a period of time. Let's delve into the world of BNPL, with some of the top industry statistics shaping this revolutionary trend.

  • The current worldwide user base of BNPL stands at approximately 360 million.
  • Swedish fintech company Klarna, a leading BNPL service, has about 1 million monthly active users.
  • Klarna’s user base is 14 times larger than any other BNPL service, with 147 million active users.
  • 16% of 18- to 34-year-olds use BNPL services.
  • Sweden holds the highest market share in the BNPL sector.
  • Clothing emerges as the most frequently purchased item through BNPL services.


of US residents express interest in BNPL services.

Source: The Ascent

  • The number of BNPL users could double in by 2027, reaching 900 million.
  • Due to the BNPL industry's rapid growth, it’s forecasted to reach $3.27 trillion by 2030.
  • 1 in 10 US consumers regularly use BNPL services at checkout.
  • Among the 80% who have not tried BNPL, slightly over a quarter are at least somewhat interested.
  • 48% of consumers have yet to use BNPL services and are not interested.

Global buy now, pay later market leadership

The buy now, pay later system has emerged as a game-changing force on the global stage. No longer confined to specific regions or demographics, it's reshaping retail and e-commerce worldwide. 

Below are global market statistics about how BNPL is redefining the future of financial transactions across continents.

  • Sweden is the BNPL market leader, with Germany and Norway close behind.

8 million

are the total monthly active users of Klarna in the US,

Source: Tech Crunch

  • Sweden's proportion of domestic BNPL e-commerce payments have more than doubled, followed by Germany and Norway.
  • New Zealand and Australia are the only non-European countries in the top 10 BNPL users, with the remaining eight being from Northwest Europe.
  • Despite Klarna's influence in the US, PayPal Credit leads the BNPL market with 34.6 million users as of 2020 - over four times more than Klarna's 7.9 million. 
  • Other prominent BNPL service providers in the US include Affirm (5.6 million users), AfterPay (5.6 million users), and FuturePay (3 million users).
  • Eight different BNPL services are available, each with over 1 million users.

Buy now, pay later user statistics

The BNPL phenomenon isn't just about enormous market valuations – it's also about the people using these services. Millions of individuals around the globe have embraced this innovative financial solution, altering the course of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retailers alike.

  • 22% of all BNPL users reside in the US.
  • By 2025, almost half of Gen Z will use BNPL services.
  • Klarna has seen its monthly active users significantly increase since 2019, reaching around 970,000 in September 2021. 


of individuals have used a BNPL service at some point, with nearly half currently making payments via such a service.

Source: C+R Research

  • Forbes lists PayPal Credit as the leading BNPL service in the US.
  • One in three BNPL users employs the service every month.
  • The clarity of fees is the most important factor for BNPL users.
  • Consumers typically pay for around four items through BNPL. Clothing is the most common purchase.
  •  12% of consumers use BNPL services "all the time."
  • Almost two in five people plan to replace their credit cards with BNPL services.
  • More than half of consumers regret making an expensive purchase.
  • About 56% of consumers have fallen behind on payments.

Buy now, pay later user demographic statistics

In the BNPL arena, understanding the demographics behind the growing statistics leads to understanding the seismic shift in consumer finance. 

  • According to a survey of 2,000 respondents, men use BNPL more than women.
  • The survey showed 55.8% of respondents had used a BNPL service. By gender, 62.8% of males and 51.36% of females used BNPL.
  • 18 to 34 year old consumers are three times more likely to regularly use BNPL compared to consumers over 55.


of BNPL users regularly use the service, and 80% of users utilize a service at least every six months.

Source: Forbes

  • The largest group of users falls within the 18 to 34 age bracket, constituting 41.6% of all BNPL users. It implies that younger consumers, familiar with digital platforms and seeking more flexible payment options, are more inclined to adopt this new payment model.
  • The 36 to 55 age group makes up 31.6% of BNPL users. The considerable adoption rate among this financially stable demographic might be due to their greater discretionary spending power and the ability of BNPL to facilitate better cash flow management.
  • The adoption of BNPL is also significant among those aged 56 and above, with 26.8% usage. It suggests that even older consumers, often considered less likely to use fintech solutions, appreciate the advantages of BNPL services, such as budgeting for larger purchases and avoiding credit card interest.

Buy now, pay later user preference statistics

The explosive growth of the BNPL industry isn't merely a tale of market values and user demographics. It's a story of preferences, choices, and the shifting dynamics of consumer behavior. Let's shed some light on the motivations fueling the trend.

  • Clarity of fees is the most critical factor for BNPL users. 


of survey responses prove that clarity of fees or interest rates was the primary reason for using BNPL services.

Source: Insider Intelligence

  • Other reasons to use BNPL included the ability to monitor spending (39.1%), convenience (37.2%), and acceptance by a large number of merchants (36.7%).
  • The least popular reason was the rewards offered, accounting for only 24.3% of the responses.

Buy now, pay later purchase statistics

The BNPL revolution isn't just transforming how you pay. It's also changing what you buy. As BNPL services become increasingly popular, they profoundly influence consumer purchasing patterns. 

  • Consumers claim to be paying for approximately 3.8 items in installments on average.
  • The most frequent monthly installment amount ranges from $101 to $205.
  • The average cost of the last item customers purchased using BNPL was $689. 
  • The majority of BNPL purchases are from clothing - 63.5% of respondents claim to have used BNPL for this purpose. 
  • Entertainment followed, with 30.3% of BNPL users purchasing in this category, and reading materials accounted for 29.4%.
  • Over a third (35%) of consumers use BNPL “most of the time.”

The future of buy now, pay later lending

As the BNPL phenomenon continues its rapid expansion, its influence on the lending landscape promises to be profound. Let's read about trends, potential shifts, and exciting prospects in the BNPL revolution.

  • BNPL lending in the United States is predicted to reach a value of over $90 billion in 2023. 
  • Significant growth in BNPL lending is expected over the next few years, with forecasts projecting an excess of $100 billion by 2024.
  • By 2022, BNPL lending was estimated to reach $74 billion.
  • The US BNPL market is growing at an average annual growth rate of 29.4%. 
  • The forecasted growth in 2024 indicates a further increase of $30 billion, bringing the total to $114 billion.
  • The BNPL industry has a value exceeding $150 billion globally.

Looking at buy now, pay later through a microscope

BNPL's adoption across a diverse range of consumers and the surge in partnering businesses indicate that BNPL is more than just a fad. It's a transformative financial trend shaping the future of retail and e-commerce.

View these statistics within a broader context. The potential benefits for both businesses and consumers are substantial, but so are the potential risks and challenges. As with any financial service, understanding the terms and potential pitfalls is key. 

As BNPL continues its trajectory, businesses must strategically weigh the potential increase in sales against the costs associated with these programs. Consumers need to responsibly navigate these services, ensuring they understand the terms of their agreements and can comfortably manage their payments. 

With clever use and transparent practices, the BNPL model can be a win-win, delivering value to consumers and businesses alike while shaping the financial landscape of the future.

Learn more about how digital payments are shaping the global payment industry.

buy now, pay later (BNPL) software
Pay me later!

Find the right installment payment and buy now, pay later (BNPL) software to allow your customers to purchase products and services over time instead of at the time of purchase.

buy now, pay later (BNPL) software
Pay me later!

Find the right installment payment and buy now, pay later (BNPL) software to allow your customers to purchase products and services over time instead of at the time of purchase.

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