Buy now pay later stocks disrupt the credit card industry
Buy now pay later stocks: Credit card companies aren’t the only ones you’ll be owing — add BNPL companies to the list. The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) concept exploded in popularity the past few years.
So essentially a credit card?
Yes, but better because most of the time, BNPL loans are interest-free. Credit card (CC) and BNPL companies also differ in how they make money. BNPLs make money by charging retailers a % of the transaction. While credit card companies also do this, they charge retailers a smaller fee and hit consumers with high-interest fees instead.
Despite the higher fees, merchants see the value of BNPL — shoppers are more likely to make a purchase and when they do, they make bigger orders. In 2020:
- US CC transaction volume stood at $3.6t — dominated by Mastercard (NYSE:MA) and Visa (NYSE:V).
- The top 3 global BNPL firms had $24b in transaction volume in the 1st quarter, less than 1% of the total CC volume.
Consumers are about to owe BNPL companies a lot more…
The industry is still in its infancy with plenty of room to grow:
- In 2020, BNPL made up more than 7% of European e-commerce transactions — 10% in Australia and 23% in Sweden.
- In North America, BNPL only made up 1.6% of e-commerce purchases but this is expected to reach over 4.5% in 4 years.
The growth of e-commerce this past year only accelerated BNPL’s growth. While most BNPL purchases are made online and on big-ticket items, BNPL is slowly expanding to offline and smaller buys. In Australia, 25% of BNPL purchases are offline (i.e. Dentist visits). But in the US, BNPL still has a long way to go.
Buy now pay later stocks: BNPL is dominated by 3 firms…
- Klarna (privately traded) — a European firm recently valued at $45.6b — 4x what it was 8 months ago.
- Afterpay (ASX:APT) — the second-largest BNPL company, expanded into the US in 2018, working with over 23,000 US retail brands.
- Affirm (NASDAQ:AFRM) — the third-largest BNPL firm, also based in the US.
Competition heating up: In 2020, fintech giant, PayPal, launched its own BNPL option. Mastercard and Visa are also experimenting with their own BNPL options.
Dive Deeper: Tech stocks are looking cheap after falling hard early.