One in ten relying on Buy Now Pay Later for Christmas

25th November 2021

Almost one in ten people in UK (9%) are planning on using Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) for part of their Christmas shopping, Citizens Advice has found.

Out of the 43% resorting to borrowing to help cover Christmas this year, one in five said they’ll be turning to BNPL to pay for at least part of their shopping.

When asked “How are you planning on paying for Christmas presents this year?” 59% selected debit card, 41% cash, 36% credit card, 9% BNPL, 6% overdraft, 4% Christmas savings club, 3% other, 4% don’t know, 5% not applicable. People were able to select multiple options. 43% of those asked selected credit card, BNPL and/or overdraft and so were classed as Brits who would be borrowing for Christmas. Of these, 21% selected BNPL as one of the ways in which they were planning on paying for Christmas presents this year.

Citizens Advice says that despite the Buy Now Pay Later sector growing rapidly, it remains unregulated. This means people have less protection as opposed to more traditional forms of regulated borrowing, such as credit cards and overdrafts.

Citizens Advice is calling for the sector to be urgently regulated to make sure consumers are properly protected. It has released six need-to-knows for anyone thinking of using one of the schemes this Christmas.

Kate Hobson, Consumer Expert at Citizens Advice, said “Money can often be tight in the run up to Christmas, but it’s still really important not to spend more than you can afford.”

“If you’re considering using Buy Now Pay Later, make sure you understand what you’re signing up for, how you’ll make the repayments and what will happen if you can’t pay on time.

“As always, if you’re struggling with any kind of bill, get free, independent advice as soon as possible. Our advisers can help you understand your options and come up with a plan.”