"Buy Now, Pay Later" Services Starting to Grow in Japan

Economy

Tokyo, Aug. 30 (Jiji Press)--"Buy now, pay later," or BNPL, services are starting to gain traction in Japan, especially among young people, because users simply have to enter their mobile phone numbers or other information.

The spread of BNPL services also reflects the popularity of online shopping amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, with major credit card companies and online banks preparing to launch the business.

There are concerns, however, about the risk of customers facing heavy debts through excessive use of the services, so consumer protection is a major issue, pundits said.

BNPL service providers pay on behalf of consumers who buy products at member stores. Users make payments to the service providers later at convenience stores or banks.

Consumers can choose payment methods on smartphone apps, and some service providers offer a hike in upper credit limits based on usage history. Screenings such as those for obtaining credit cards are not necessary for BNPL services. Some providers offer installment payments through simple authentication using drivers' licenses or other forms of ID.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press