Buy now, pay later report: Millennials and the shifting dynamics of online credit

Learn about the most favored payment methods used by millennials, including buy now, pay later (BNPL) options that offer transparent, budget-friendly ways to pay. Full report available below.

According to a new research study conducted by in collaboration with PayPal, young consumers are payments-savvy and embrace a wide array of payment methods. Nearly 90 percent of millennials (ages 24 to 39) have a credit card, making people in this age group the most likely generation to have credit cards. Bridge millennials (ages 32 to 41) use diverse payment methods for online shopping, including credit (68.2 percent), debit cards (66.3 percent), and digital wallets (42.1 percent).

Variety and flexibility are the watchwords for millennials when it comes to payment options, making BNPL an enticing option for younger consumers who are likely to use it as a means of paying for specific products they want in a responsible and flexible way. Close to 40 percent of millennials who haven’t used BNPL say they would be very interested in doing so through digital wallets.

While just 6.4 percent of overall consumers in September reported using BNPL, the payment method has been used by nearly double (11.5 percent) that share by bridge millennials — a share that has increased by 28 percent since March.

Current BNPL usage is intriguing, but the untapped potential is compelling. Almost one-third (32.4 percent) of bridge millennials say they would be “very” or “extremely” interested in at least one of three BNPL digital wallet options:

  • Three months to pay for purchases over $30 with 0 percent interest (34.1 percent)
  • No fees if paid in full within 6 months (32.4 percent)
  • Split payment into 4 equal payments with 25 percent down (36.5%)

Given that variety is a top priority for this segment of consumers, it’s no surprise that plan-option flexibility alone is an attractive aspect of BNPL.

Download the PYMNTS report for more.

Download the PYMNTS report for more (PDF)

Download the PYMNTS report for more (PDF)

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