Gen X and Millennials outspend Gen Z on BNPL

2nd October 2023

Millennials and Gen X said they spent more than Gen Z when it comes to using Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) for online shopping over the past 12 months according to the latest Q3 2023 Consumer Pulse survey from a global information and insights company TransUnion. Compared to 54% of Millennials and 39% of Gen X who reported spending spent above £500, only 35% of Gen Z said they spent above this amount.

TransUnion says that the trend is expected to continue as both Millennials (32%) and Gen X (22%) say they are more likely to apply for buy now, pay later services in the next year, compared with Gen Z (15%).

Kelli Fielding, Chief Product Officer at TransUnion in the UK, said “It’s interesting to see older generations increasingly embracing buy now, pay later services, and outspending their younger counterparts. It’s clear that for the majority, buy now, pay later is about convenience and flexibility, rather than being driven by financial constraints and that aligns with our expectations, based on our own extensive analysis.

The research highlighted that people choose buy now, pay later services to spread out payments (61%) and avoid interest (48%) – figures which are broadly consistent with the previous quarter. Interestingly, 34% of respondents said they would use their debit card as the alternative, emphasising this is a preferred way to pay for many, even when they have funds in their bank accounts to cover the cost of their purchase immediately.

Clothing remains the top spend category, with almost half (48%) of all consumers who use buy now, pay later while shopping online in the last 12 month did so for this purpose. Some seasonal fluctuations were evident. Nearly a quarter (23%) of consumers used buy now, pay later to pay for beauty products, an increase from the previous quarter—likely due to summer holidays and events.