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Buy now pay later statistics 2024

BNPL users carry an average balance of $818

Quick summary

  • 2 in 5 Australians (40%) have used a buy now pay later (BNPL) service in the past 6 months (March 2024 data).
  • BNPL adoption hit an all-time high in July 2022 (49%) and has dropped back down to usual levels since then.
  • Gen Z and millennials are most likely to use BNPL services, with 52% and 59% using BNPL respectively (March 2024 data).
  • The number of Australians paying BNPL late fees has increased significantly since January 2020 when just 5% had paid a late fee in the last 12 months compared to 20% in January 2024.

How many Australians use BNPL?

  • 40% of Australians said they’d used a BNPL service in the last 6 months (March 2024).
  • In 2020, close to a third (32–36%) of Australians had used a BNPL service in the last 6 months. However in 2021, adoption increased to 2 in 5 and has generally remained above 40%.
  • BNPL adoption hit an all-time high in July 2022, with nearly half of Australian adults (49%) saying they had used BNPL in the last 6 months. Since then, BNPL adoption has been trending down.
  • BNPL usage has grown most rapidly among gen Z. In January 2020, 37% of gen Z had used a BNPL service in a 6-month period, compared to 64% in January 2023. BNPL adoption among young Australian adults peaked in July 2022, with 4 in 5 (70%) of gen Z saying they had used BNPL at least once. The latest data shows it sits around 52% of gen Z users.
  • Adoption among gen Y peaked at the same time, with over two-thirds (69%) of the demographic having used a BNPL service in a 6-month time period. Although the figures began to trend below that of gen z, the latest figures show more gen y (59%) are using BNPL (March 2024).
  • Usage of BNPL services peaked in May 2021 with 49% using a service. That has since trended downwards. The March 2024 figures show 31% of Gen X use BNPL.
  • BNPL use among baby boomers is at a peak in the latest figures, with 17% using a BNPL service (March 2024).
  • The number of times the average Australian used a BNPL service in a 6-month trended up to a peak of an average of 3.2 times in May 2021. By August that had dropped to 1.6 times and it then evened out, ranging from 2.1 to 2.7 over the next few years. In March 2024 the number of times BNPL was used per person over the previous 6 months was an average of 2.1 times.

How much are Australians paying in BNPL late fees?

  • The number of Australians paying BNPL late fees has increased significantly since 2020. In 2020, around 5% of Aussies said they’d paid a BNPL late fee in the last 12 months. This increased to an average of 8% in 2021 and 9% in 2022. As of March 2024, this figure was at 20%.
  • However, while the number of Australians paying a BNPL late fee has increased, the good news is that the dollar amount paid has trended down year on year. In 2020, Aussies were forfeiting an average of $94 in BNPL late fees. This dropped to $89 in 2021 and $63 in 2022. In January 2023, the average amount paid in BNPL fees was $50.

What is the average BNPL balance carried by Australians?

  • The average debt carried by BNPL users has fallen drastically, even over the last 12 months. In September 2023 the average balance was $598. In March 2024 this had dropped to an average of $223.

Why Australians do and don’t use BNPL services

  • Finder data from 2021 reveals that 2 in 5 Australians (40%) prefer to use cash, a debit card or credit card over BNPL services.
  • The most common concern of using BNPL services is the effect on credit scores (6%) due to not meeting repayment terms, followed by late fees (4%) and the ability to take out a home loan (3%).
  • A separate Finder survey found Afterpay is by far the most popular service, with 38% of respondents having used it. This was followed by Zip (24%), store lay-by (8%), Humm (8%) and Openpay (7%).
  • The top reasons shoppers opt for BNPL over credit cards are ease of sign-up (51%) and not having to pay interest (51%).
  • 1 in 3 (33%) say they prefer BNPL because they are worried they would get into debt by using a credit card.
  • A further 23% say they use BNPL simply because they are used to it, while 21% say it’s because they were rejected for a credit card.

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