BNPL Reaches Rarified Super Bowl Air

BNPL Reaches Rarified Super Bowl Air

February 11, 2021

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), an online payment method that lets consumers pay for e-commerce purchases over time interest-free, is having a moment.

While ratings were relatively low for last weekend’s Super Bowl, nearly 100 million people were still watching and talking about the pricey, high-profile ads. One of those ads was for payment provider Klarna, which used multiple Maya Rudolphs to tell American consumers about BNPL.

On a CNBC appearance in advance of the Super Bowl, Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski touted the advantages of BNPL over credit cards.

At the same time, BNPL provider Splitit announced it has received $150 million credit facility from Goldman Sachs to support its expansion in the U.S. and Europe.

“Demand from merchants in the U.S. and Europe for our funded model has never been stronger,” said Brad Paterson, Splitit CEO, “and coupled with our existing strong balance sheet, we now have the foundations in place to accelerate our growth plans whilst also driving improved margins.”

As the sector enjoys explosive growth, however, regulators are starting to notice. In response to some consumer advocates who claim BNPL users can incur hidden fees, a U.K. regulatory agency is taking a hard look at the payment method and U.S. regulators could follow.

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