Westpac PartPay to bring BNPL-like payments to your credit card
If you have a Westpac credit card, PartPay will give you a way to pay off purchases in 4 instalments with no interest charges.
The upcoming feature has similarities to buy now pay later (BNPL), with fortnightly payments made automatically from a linked bank account.
People with an eligible Westpac credit card will be able to opt-in by linking their card to a PartPay digital card. They can then use it to make purchases worth at least $100, up to the value of their available credit limit.
So, unlike some BNPL plans, people will know how much they can spend with PartPay.
They'll also have access to their other credit card features, including rewards and complimentary insurance.
In a media release about PartPay, Westpac said it was designed to give customers more control and flexibility.
"Customers have told us they like the option of making payments in instalments," Westpac consumer and business banking chief executive Chris de Bruin said.
"This new feature provides that flexibility in a fast and convenient way, via a digital card that can be downloaded in the Westpac app."
PartPay will be offered on Westpac Low Rate, Lite, Low fee and Altitude Rewards credit cards "in the coming months".
It won't be available on the Westpac Flex, but that's one of the few cards already offering no interest, with a monthly fee instead.
How does PartPay compare to other instalment plans?
A lot of credit cards offer instalment plans as a way to help manage repayments.
This includes Westpac, which offers SmartPlan instalment plans for credit card customers.
But a key difference is the length of the instalment plans.
With PartPay, you have an initial instalment after a purchase and then 3 more fortnightly payments or around 8 weeks of repayments in total.
In contrast, SmartPlan offers instalment plans of up to 12 months.
Some other credit card instalment plans can give you even longer. For example, the humm90 Mastercard offers 0% interest instalment plans for up to 15 months on purchases of $250 or more.
Another difference is costs.
Westpac said PartPay won't have any interest charges or fees except for foreign currency transactions.
In comparison, some credit card instalment plans charge interest, monthly fees or establishment fees.
Is PartPay worth it?
If you want to pay off purchases over a short period without interest, PartPay gives you a way to do it with a Westpac credit card instead of BNPL.
But just like any form of credit (including BNPL), there is a risk of ending up in debt.
If you missed a PartPay instalment, it would be transferred to your Westpac credit card's purchase balance and standard interest rates would apply.
The rising cost of living has also increased the risk of leaning on credit products to get by.
Finder research has found 28% of people with a credit card couldn't manage their finances without it.
And 29% of people in serious financial difficulty were using BNPL at least once a month in 2022 according to research from the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA).
If you're using a service like PartPay for convenience, it could help you save on interest.
But if you're feeling financial stress, talk to your bank to find an affordable and manageable solution.
You can also call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 to speak to a financial counsellor for free.
Already paying interest on a credit card? Compare the latest 0% balance transfer credit card offers.