Buy now, pay later (BNPL) has changed the way Australians pay for goods and services and usage is growing. A recent Which-50 commissioned study by Pureprofile found the majority of people recognised a BNPL platform and more than half of the respondents have used the payment method before.

From the 53 per cent who have used it, Afterpay was used by 79 per cent of respondents, followed by Zip Pay at 34 per cent and Zip Money at 12 per cent. 

Other BNPL services include Humm and Open Pay.

Uwana Evers, data scientist at Pureprofile said when comparing the generations 76 per cent of baby boomers and 58 per cent of Gen X had never used BNPL, compared to 38 per cent of millennials and 32 per cent of Gen Z. 

BNPL platforms can be used both online and in-store with 52 per cent solely using them online. From the results, 48.3 per cent have used BNPL in-store and just 18 per cent have used the services in physical stores only. 

Evers noted there is a clear relationship between age/generation and preference for accessing buy now, pay later services. 

She said, “While the majority of all generations prefer online access, the youngest Gen Z has a much higher proportion (88 per cent) compared to the oldest Baby Boomers (67 per cent). 

“The reverse relationship is seen with in-store BNPL use: 58 per cent of Baby Boomers have used BNPL services in-store, compared to 44 per cent of Gen Z.” 

The most popular items consumers buy through BNPL are clothing and accessories. This was followed by household items (42 per cent), technology (30 per cent), and cosmetics and toiletries (29 per cent).

Evers said the purchase product categories reflect the general expected purchase behaviour according to age and life stage.

“For example, Millennials and Gen Zs had the highest proportions of respondents who purchased clothing and accessories, cosmetics and toiletries, and food and drinks, whilst Gen X and Baby Boomers had the highest proportions of respondents who purchased household items. 

“The oldest generation, Baby Boomers, also had the highest proportion of BNPL service us for travel-related purchases,” she said. 

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