More Consumers Are Turning to Digital Payment Plans, Even for Low-Cost Items

More Consumers Are Turning to Digital Payment Plans, Even for Low-Cost Items

And many retailers are going after this budget-conscious group

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Consumers are becoming more cognizant of their spending, even considering financing high-ticket purchases to avoid spending all their money in one transaction.

According to data from CivicScience, adoption of digital interest-free payment programs—like Affirm, Afterpay and Sezzle—has grown gradually in the past year, from 24% in Q1 2019 to 30% in Q3 2019 among US internet users.

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Consumers may turn to these alternative credit solutions to purchase a luxury handbag or new sofa, but not everyone is using digital installment plans solely for big-ticket items.

“That's a common misperception,” said Paul Paradis, co-founder and chief revenue officer of Sezzle, an ecommerce payment platform. “Our average order value is right around $80, which is a lot lower than most people think it is.”

“That points to this being an alternative to credit cards,” he said. “This is the everyday kind of purchase that many Americans make with a credit card, and this group just doesn't have them or doesn't want to use them.”

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Younger consumers are more open to payment plans, according to separate data from the CivicScience. Roughly 28% of US internet users ages 18 to 24 expressed interest in using the service for low-priced items. Slightly more respondents ages 25 to 34 agreed.

Overall, the study found that interest in paying for low-priced items over time was low, but that will likely change within the next 12 to 18 months as more retailers offer the service on their sites.

“We're now working with over 7,500 retailers, and we're processing north of 15% share of checkout volume at those retailers,” Paradis said.

“That just sums up how much demand there is for this kind of a payment solution and how disruptive it [can] be in the US over the next two, three years,” he added.

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