Five of the Best: BNPL Exploded in 2023, With More to Come in 2024

BNPL was a big hit in the payments space in 2023, and it's here to stay — particularly after the whirlwind of Cyber Monday (BNPL accounted for 8% of all spending that day, but more on that below). Check out The Financial Brand's top five BNPL stories here.

1. A Bright Future for BNPL Is in the (Bank) Cards

Author: Steve Cocheo (The Financial Brand)

Date: May 11, 2023

Executive summary: The banking industry has been spooked by the fintechs in the BNPL space, but a 2023 Accenture study found that the legacy banks and credit unions adding the payment tool to their tech stack could actually be the ones to lead growth in the space. Want to learn how? Check out the full article on the future of BNPL in banking.

A key takeaway: Insider Intelligence forecasts the value of BNPL payments in the U.S. will have hit $94.9 billion in 2023, an increase of more than 25% year over year.

2. Apple Pay Later, Tech Giant’s BNPL Entry, Off to Strong Start

Author: Steve Cocheo (The Financial Brand)

Date: July 21, 2023

Executive summary: Leave it to Apple to launch its own buy now, pay later product and have it take off. But, the tech mogul’s name recognition isn’t the only competitive advantage that Apple’s new BNPL offering has over its peers.

Quotable: “Apple has some sizable advantages over its BNPL competitors, who had to attract users and build merchant acceptance one at a time.” — Miles Tullo, J.D. Power

3. The Strategy Behind Amazon Pay’s Push Into ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’

Author: Steve Cocheo (The Financial Brand)

Date: September 7, 2023

Executive summary: Apple isn’t the only nonbanking provider entering the payments landscape; Amazon put its name in the ring in 2023. Amazon Pay’s new pay features came at a strategic time (right before the holiday season) with two specific programs. Learn more about Apple Pay’s new BNPL features.

Quotable: “Whatever Amazon does everybody is going to take notice. When a big player like Amazon Pay makes a move in this direction, it sends out a ripple through the entire payments ecosystem.” — Jacqueline White, i2c

4. Affirm Goes Big: How It Intends to Go Beyond BNPL to Own Payments

Author: Steve Cocheo (The Financial Brand)

Date: November 30, 2023

Executive summary: The Thanksgiving weekend this year marked an important landmark for the buy now, pay later sector. American shoppers spent $940 million online using BNPL, an increase of 42.5% over 2022’s Cyber Monday.

BNPL accounted for nearly 8% of total U.S. online spending ($12.4 billion) on that day. This was a big deal for the BNPL giant Affirm.

Quotable: “Five years from now, we have no intention of being the leader in BNPL. We intend to be the leader in payments — making payments more honest, accessible and better for everyone involved.” — Max Levchin, Affirm

5. Why U.S. Bank Is Elbowing into the Competitive BNPL Space

Author: Steve Cocheo (The Financial Brand)

Date: November 3, 2023

Executive summary: To bring this top five article breakdown to a full circle, U.S. Bank this year introduced its own BNPL to its product suite — starting in October for U.S. merchants — and will continue building on it through at least 2024. The plans for the BNPL program, called “Avvance,” signals a new wave in the banking industry.

A key takeaway: One in five U.S. adults used buy now, pay later at least once in August, according to Morning Consult.

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