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27 Buy Now, Pay Later Statistics (2022)

by Josh Howarth
September 20, 2022

This is a thorough list of up-to-date buy now, pay later (BNPL) statistics and trends.

Several BNPL services have seemingly sprung up out of nowhere and are now dominating the market.

Read on to discover all the need-to-know BNPL stats for 2022 and beyond.

Contents

Top 2022 BNPL Stats

Here are an assortment of key BNPL statistics to get started:

  • The BNPL market is worth over $150 billion.
  • By 2030, the BNPL market will surpass $3 trillion.
  • There are currently around 360 million BNPL users.
  • 16% of 18 to 34-year-olds use BNPL.
  • Sweden has the largest BNPL market share.
  • Klarna has almost 150 million active users.
  • Clothing is the most popular BNPL purchase.
  • Almost half of US citizens are interested in BNPL services.

General BNPL Stats

BNPL is a $179.5 billion global industry (Predence Research)

The BNPL space is experiencing accelerated growth.

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In 2020, the BNPL market was valued at $87.2 billion. This grew by around 43% to $125.09 billion in 2021. And reached an estimated $179.5 billion in 2022.

By 2025, this figure is predicted to almost triple to $531.53 billion.

And by 2030, the BNPL market is forecast to be worth an eye-watering $3.27 trillion.

There are approximately 360 million BNPL users worldwide (Juniper Research)

As of 2022, there are an estimated 360 million people worldwide using BNPL services.

And that figure is set to more than double over the next five years.

By 2027, it is expected that there will be 900 million BNPL users - an increase of 157%.

Around 1 in 5 BNPL live in the US (Insider Intelligence)

The latest data indicates that there are approximately 79 million US BNPL users.

That's an increase of 56.1% over the previous year.

And accounts for around 22% of all BNPL users.

3 in 5 people have used a BNPL service (C+R Research)

Recent data shows that 60% of people have used some form of BNPL service.

And just under half (46%), are likely to be currently making a payment via BNPL service.

Yet, 66% of people believe it is "financially risky" to use BNPL services.

Almost half of Gen Z are expected to use BNPL by 2025 (eMarketer)

Gen Z is the most likely generation to use BNPL services. And adoption rates are expected to increase from 36.8% in 2021 to 47.4% in 2025.

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Although older generations are significantly less likely to use BNPL services, an increase is expected across the board nonetheless.

Here’s a breakdown of the predicted figures between 2021 and 2025:

2021 2023 2025 % Change
Gen Z 36.8% 46.5% 47.4% ↑ 10.6%
Millennial 30.3% 39.5% 40.6% ↑ 10.3%
Gen X 17.2% 26.3% 30.9% ↑ 13.7%
Baby Boomers 6.2% 12% 14.8% ↑ 8.6%

BNPL Industry Size

US BNPL lending is forecast to reach nearly $75 billion in 2022 (MAG)

BNPL lending in the US is forecast to grow significantly over the next 24 months, exceeding $100 billion by 2024.

In 2019, US BNPL lending totaled $3 billion. This figure increased by 13x in 2020 to $39 billion.

In 2022, BNPL lending is predicted to reach $74 billion.

And in 2024, that figure is expected to increase by $30 billion to $114 billion.

Sweden has the largest market share in the BNPL market (Worldpay)

Sweden has long dominated the BNPL market.

Back in 2016, Sweden led the way for BNPL domestic e-commerce payments with 2x more than second-placed The Netherlands.

By 2020, Sweden’s domestic BNPL e-commerce payment proportion had more than doubled. Germany and Norway were ranked second and third.

Australia and New Zealand are the only non-European countries in the top 10. In fact, all of the other eight countries that use BNPL the most are located in Northwest Europe.

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The global average for e-commerce payments made using BNPL schemes is 2.1% (as of 2020).

Here’s a breakdown of the proportion of domestic e-commerce payments made with BNPL in 2020:

Rank Country BNPL’s domestic e-commerce market share
1 Sweden 23%
2 Germany 19%
3 Norway 15%
4 Finland 12%
=5 Australia 10%
=5 New Zealand 10%
7 Netherlands 9%
8 Denmark 8%
9 Belgium 7%
10 United Kingdom 5%
11 France 4%
=12 Japan 3%
=12 India 3%
=12 Indonesia 3%
=12 Singapore 3%
=12 Philippines 3%
=17 Italy 2%
=17 Spain 2%
=17 United States 2%
=17 Poland 2%

BNPL service Klarna has approximately 1 million monthly active users (Airnow)

Swedish fintech company Klarna is a big reason behind the nation’s heavy use of BNPL services. The firm has seen its monthly active users shoot up since the start of 2019.

In January 2019, Klarna had under 20,000 monthly active users.

By January 2020, this figure grew to over 180,000.

A year on, Klarna had almost 700,000 monthly active users.

And, by September 2021, there were approximately 970,000 monthly active users on the Klarna platform.

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Here is a closer look at Klarna’s monthly active users over time:

Milestone Year Google Play Store iOS Store Monthly Active Users
1,000 Nov 2018 1,431 1,258 2,689
10,000 Jan 2019 7,008 9,890 16,898
100,000 Jul 2019 14,896 101,395 116,291
250,000 May 2020 48,489 261,520 310,009
500,000 Aug 2020 92,456 413,921 506,377
750,000 Apr 2021 198,240 585,982 784,222

Klarna has around 14x more users than any other BNPL service (Klarna)

Klarna is the most popular BNPL service provider. The fintech company had approximately 147 million active users.

In the second place, Affirm has 11.2 million active users. And Afterpay has 10.5 million.

PayPal Credit is the BNPL market leader in the US (Forbes)

Klarna also has a huge influence in the US, but PayPal Credit is far and away the most popular BNPL service.

As of 2020, PayPal Credit had 34.6 million users in the US - over 4x more than second-placed Klarna (7.9 million).

Affirm (5.6 million), AfterPay (5.6 million), and FuturePay (3 million) make up the rest of the top five US BNPL services.

In total, eight different BNPL services have over 1 million users.

BNPL User Demographics

US men are more likely to use BNPL services than US women (The Motley Fool)

A March 2021 survey of 2,000 respondents found that 55.8% have used a BNPL service. This penetration rate had increased by around 50% since a July 2020 survey.

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Broken down, 62.8% of males surveyed had used a BNPL service.

While 51.36% of females claimed to have used a BNPL service at some stage.

The 18-34 years age group are 3x more likely to use BNPL regularly than 55+ years (The Motley Fool)

A 2021 survey revealed that 16% of 18 to 34-year-olds use BNPL regularly.

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This was markedly higher than the other two age groups questioned - 35 to 54-year-olds (9%) and 55+ years (5%).

Across the board, there was a negative correlation between age and a predilection towards BNPL:

Age Group 18-34 Years 35-54 Years 55+ Years
Use It Regularly 16% 9% 5%
Have Used Before, Not Regularly 15% 10% 8%
Have Not Used, Very Interested 10% 4% 5%
Have Not Used,

Somewhat Interested

14% 16% 11%
Have Not used, Not Interested 37% 51% 56%
Don’t Know What This Is 8% 9% 15%

BNPL Usage Stats

Around 1 in 3 BNPL users use the service each month (C+R Research)

According to a recent survey, 29% of BNPL users use the service at least once a month.

While, 80% of BNPL users use a service at least every six months.

Here's a breakdown of the data:

Frequency Consumers Use BNPL Services Proportion of Respondents
More than once a week 2%
Once a week 8%
Once a month 19%
Once every three months 22%
Once every six months 29%
Once a year or less 20%

Clarity of fees is the most important factor for BNPL users (PYMNTS)

A September 2020 survey found that almost half of respondents (41.8%) cited “clarity of fees or interest rates” as the most common reason for using BNPL.

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This was closely followed by “ability to monitor spending” (39.1%), “convenience of the option” (37.2%), and “number of merchants who accept this payment type” (36.7%).

Of the seven reasons cited, “rewards offered” was the least popular with 24.3% of the vote.

Here is the full list and how they stack up against credit cards and digital wallets:

Reason BNPL Credit Card Debit Card
Clarity of fees or interest rates 41.8% 11.2% 16.3%
Ability to monitor spending 39.1% 21.7% 24.3%
The convenience of the option 37.2% 34.8% 62.1%
No. of merchants who accept this payment type 36.7% 32.9% 46.4%
Trust that information is secure 33.1% 19% 33.3%
The company's website is easy to use 31.3% 19% 33.3%
Amount of funds available with this option 30.6% 19.2% 20.5%
Rewards offered 24.3% 68.7% 14.7%

The average user is currently paying for around 4 items via BNPL (C+R Research)

Data shows that, on average, consumers claim to be currently paying for 3.8 items in instalments.

And the most frequent amount paid in instalments per month sits between $101-$205.

However, the average cost of the last item purchases is $689. And the average owed is $883.

Clothing is the most popular category for BNPL purchases (PYMNTS)

Almost two-thirds (63.5%) of respondents who use BNPL purchased clothing.

Entertainment was the next most popular category for BNPL spending with 30.3% of the vote. Followed by reading material with 29.4%.

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Here is the full list of the top 11 BNPL purchase categories:

  • Clothing - 63.5%
  • Entertainment - 30.3%
  • Reading material - 29.4%
  • Household furnishing - 28.7%
  • Groceries - 25%
  • Food delivery services - 21.8%
  • Cleaning supplies - 21.2%
  • Automobile - 19.9%
  • Consumer electronics - 17.5%
  • Travel - 17.4%
  • Pet supplies - 17.1%

12% of consumers claim to use BNPL "all the time" (C+R Research)

Around 2 in 3 (67%) of consumers use BNPL services at least half of the time when online shopping.

And more than one third (35%) of consumers use BNPL most of the time.

Here's a closer look at the survey results:

How Often Consumers Use BNPL When Online Shopping Proportion
All of the time 12%
Most of the time 35%
Half of the time 20%
Some of the time 20%
Rarely/Never 13%

BNPL Industry Forecast

Around 2 in 5 people plan to replace their credit cards with BNPL (C+R Research)

Most people (56%) now prefer BNPL to credit cards. That's compared to just 25% who prefer credit cards. The remaining 19% prefer BNPL "sometimes".

Overall, 38% believe that BNPL will eventually replace their credit cards.

Here are the most popular reasons for this:

Reasons for BNPL Preference Proportion Whom Agree
Easier to make payments 45%
More flexible 44%
Lower interest rates 36%
Credit cards are maxed out 33%
Easy approval process 33%
Low credit card limit 22%
No interest 22%

42% of Americans use or are interested in BNPL (eMarketer)

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According to a February 2021 survey, 1 in 10 US consumers regularly uses BNPL services at checkout.

Of the 80% who have not tried BNPL at all, just over one quarter are at least somewhat interested.

Almost half of all respondents (48%) have not used BNPL services and are not interested.

More than half of consumers regret an expensive purchase (C+R Research)

57% of consumer surveyed admitted to regretting a purchase because it was too expensive.

While, 56% have fallen behind on payments. Worryingly, 46% claim that they are likely to make a late payment in the next year.

Conclusion

That wraps up our look at the current state of the BNPL industry.

It is clear that BNPL has burst onto the scene.

And is set to continue to grow in the coming years, potentially rivaling credit cards and digital wallets.

For more insight into related topics, have a look at our summaries of 7 important macro trends and the top 11 ecommerce trends.