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Buy Now Pay Later – Thematic Research

Buy now pay later (BNPL) providers disrupt the lending sector by simplifying access to loans to consumers and reducing friction at payment points. The sector has been around for many years, but it has seen rapid growth recently as key players expanded into new regions. Long dominated by key BNPL providers such as Klarna, Clearpay, and Affirm, the sector is now being challenged by incumbent card networks and banks such as Visa, Mastercard, and Barclays. The sector has been able to grow so rapidly partly due to a lack of regulation. However, governing bodies are reviewing the sector and considering imposing rules to protect consumers from accumulating unmanageable debt.


The global BNPL sector reached $160 billion in 2021.

Millennials and Generation Z are the main demographics driving the adoption of BNPL.

UK consumers paid $50.7 million in BNPL late fees in the UK in 2020, while one in 10 consumers dealt with debt collectors due to unpaid loans.

In 2020, Klarna reached 87 million users, generated $1 billion in revenue, but reported a loss of $139 million.

Reasons to Buy

Understand key technology, macroeconomic, and regulatory trends driving BNPL.

Find out how BNPL challenges the payment card market.

Find out how incumbent financial institutions are responding to BNPL.

Identify the key players in the sector.

Key Players

Affirm, Amazon, American Express, Amount, Ant Group, Apple, Barclays, Block, Citibank, CreditLadder, Experian, Equifax, Goldman Sachs, Klarna, JPMorgan Chase, Mastercard, Monzo, NovaCredit, PayPal, Paytm, Revolut, Santander, Sezzle, TransUnion, Zilch, Zip

Table of Contents

Executive Summary



Technology trends

Macroeconomic trends

Regulatory trends

Industry Analysis


Mergers and Acquisitions


Value Chain


Sector Scorecards

Payments sector scorecard

Ecommerce sector scorecard


Secondary Sources

Further Reading

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