BNPL credit is an innovative form of consumer borrowing that places the costs of credit on the retailer, allowing consumers to pay after a short delay, or in installments, at no extra cost. It is not currently regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
While many consumers use this interest free form of borrowing effectively in its current form, BNPL is not risk free. As with other forms of credit, BNPL users can incur penalties, be charged late fees and have their credit ratings damaged if they miss repayments.
Which?’s new research on BNPL shows that the typical BNPL user has characteristics that contribute to consumer vulnerability: they are more likely to have experienced a major life event or to have defaulted on another form of credit/household bill in the last twelve months than non-BNPL users. Our research also sheds light on a range of potential harms they may be exposed to and that ultimately lead us to support moves on the part of the FCA and Treasury to regulate BNPL credit.
The full BNPL report and technical reports can be found here: