Amazon and the Rise of Buy Now, Pay Later: Afterpay, Klarna, and More - Marketing Scoop (2024)


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In the world of e-commerce, convenience and flexibility are king. As online shopping continues to grow in popularity, consumers are increasingly seeking out new and innovative ways to pay for their purchases. Enter the rise of buy now, pay later (BNPL) services, such as Afterpay and Klarna. These platforms have revolutionized the way we shop online, offering a more accessible and budget-friendly alternative to traditional credit cards. But what about e-commerce giant Amazon? Does the world‘s largest online retailer accept Afterpay or Klarna? In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll explore Amazon‘s stance on BNPL, the alternative financing options available, and the future of this rapidly evolving industry.

The Evolution of Buy Now, Pay Later

BNPL services have been around for decades in various forms, such as layaway plans and installment loans. However, the modern iteration of BNPL, pioneered by companies like Afterpay and Klarna, has only recently gained widespread adoption in the e-commerce space.

Founded in 2014, Afterpay has quickly become one of the most popular BNPL providers, with over 16 million customers worldwide and partnerships with more than 55,000 retailers (Afterpay, 2021). The company‘s success can be attributed to its simple and intuitive platform, which allows shoppers to split their purchases into four interest-free installments, paid every two weeks.

Klarna, founded in 2005, has also experienced explosive growth in recent years. The Swedish fintech company now serves over 90 million customers globally and partners with more than 250,000 merchants (Klarna, 2021). In addition to its "Pay in 4" option, similar to Afterpay, Klarna offers a range of flexible financing solutions, including longer-term installment plans and direct bank transfers.

The rapid rise of BNPL can be attributed to several factors, including:

  1. Increased accessibility and inclusion for consumers who may not qualify for traditional credit cards
  2. Desire for greater financial flexibility and control over spending
  3. Shift towards online shopping and mobile commerce
  4. Generational preferences, particularly among younger consumers (e.g., Millennials and Gen Z)

According to a report by Worldpay, BNPL accounted for 2.1% of all global e-commerce transactions in 2020, and is projected to double its market share by 2024 (Worldpay, 2021). This rapid growth underscores the increasing popularity and acceptance of BNPL as a mainstream payment method.

Amazon and Afterpay: A Missed Connection?

Despite the widespread adoption of Afterpay by many online retailers, Amazon has notably chosen not to integrate the popular BNPL service into its platform. This decision may come as a surprise to some shoppers, given Amazon‘s reputation for offering a wide range of payment options and its customer-centric approach.

There are several potential reasons why Amazon has not yet embraced Afterpay:

  1. Amazon‘s existing financing options: The e-commerce giant already offers its own financing solutions, such as the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card and the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. These cards provide customers with special financing offers on eligible purchases, such as 6-month financing on orders of $149 or more. Additionally, Amazon offers monthly payment plans for select items, such as Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, and Alexa-enabled devices.

  2. Market dominance and customer loyalty: As the world‘s largest e-commerce platform, Amazon has a massive customer base and a wide array of products at competitive prices. This market dominance and customer loyalty may reduce the urgency for Amazon to integrate Afterpay, as shoppers are likely to continue using the platform even without the BNPL option.

  3. Potential partnerships with other BNPL providers: While Amazon does not currently accept Afterpay, the company has recently partnered with two other prominent BNPL providers, Klarna and Zip (formerly Quadpay). These partnerships suggest that Amazon is not opposed to BNPL in principle, but may have strategic reasons for choosing to work with specific providers.

Alternative Buy Now, Pay Later Options on Amazon

Although Amazon does not directly accept Afterpay, shoppers can still take advantage of flexible financing options through the platform‘s partnerships with Klarna and Zip.

Using Klarna on Amazon

Klarna‘s "Pay in 4" option allows customers to split their purchases into four interest-free installments, with payments automatically withdrawn every two weeks. To use Klarna on Amazon, follow these simple steps:

  1. Download the Klarna app and create an account
  2. Browse Amazon and add items to your cart as usual
  3. At checkout, select "Klarna" as your payment method
  4. Log into your Klarna account and complete the payment process

Klarna performs a soft credit check during the approval process, which does not impact your credit score. However, it‘s important to note that late or missed payments can result in additional fees and may be reported to credit bureaus.

Using Zip on Amazon

Zip, formerly known as Quadpay, is another BNPL service that allows customers to pay for their Amazon purchases in four interest-free installments over six weeks. To use Zip on Amazon, follow these steps:

  1. Sign up for a Zip account and add your Zip virtual card details to your Amazon account
  2. Shop on Amazon and proceed to checkout
  3. Select your Zip virtual card as the payment method
  4. Confirm your payment with Zip, and your order will be placed

Like Klarna, Zip performs a soft credit check during the approval process and may charge late fees for missed payments.

Comparing Amazon‘s Financing Options with Afterpay and Klarna

While Amazon‘s partnerships with Klarna and Zip provide customers with BNPL options, there are some notable differences when compared to Afterpay:

Amazon FinancingAfterpayKlarnaZip
AvailabilitySelect productsParticipating retailersParticipating retailersParticipating retailers
Credit card requiredYes (Amazon Visa cards)NoNoNo
Payment scheduleVaries (6-24 months)4 installments (6 weeks)4 installments (6 weeks)4 installments (6 weeks)
Interest charges0% for select offers0%0%0%
Late feesUp to $39Up to 25% of order valueUp to $7 per installment$5 per installment
Credit checkYes (hard inquiry)NoYes (soft inquiry)Yes (soft inquiry)
Impact on credit scorePossibleNoNoNo

As evident from the comparison, Amazon‘s financing options are more limited in terms of product eligibility and require a specific Amazon Visa credit card. In contrast, Afterpay, Klarna, and Zip can be used for a wide range of products across multiple retailers, without the need for a particular credit card.

However, Amazon‘s financing plans may offer longer repayment terms (up to 24 months) for larger purchases, compared to the standard 6-week repayment schedule of most BNPL providers.

The Psychology of Buy Now, Pay Later

The popularity of BNPL can be attributed not only to its convenience and flexibility but also to its psychological impact on consumer behavior. By breaking down purchases into smaller, more manageable installments, BNPL services can make products feel more affordable and encourage shoppers to spend more than they otherwise would.

According to a study by Cardify, BNPL users tend to spend 10-20% more per purchase compared to non-BNPL shoppers (Cardify, 2020). This increase in spending can be attributed to several psychological factors:

  1. Perceived affordability: By focusing on the smaller installment amounts rather than the total purchase price, BNPL can make products feel more affordable and accessible.
  2. Present bias: Consumers tend to prioritize immediate gratification over long-term consequences, making the instant approval and delayed payment structure of BNPL particularly appealing.
  3. Mental accounting: Shoppers may mentally separate their BNPL payments from their regular expenses, leading to increased spending and potential overspending.

While BNPL can be a useful tool for managing cash flow and making larger purchases more accessible, it‘s essential for consumers to be mindful of their spending habits and ensure they can comfortably afford the installment payments.

The Regulatory Landscape of Buy Now, Pay Later

As BNPL services continue to gain popularity, regulators and consumer protection agencies have begun to take notice. In December 2020, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) released a report highlighting the potential risks of BNPL, including the ease of spending beyond one‘s means and the lack of consumer protections compared to traditional credit products (ASIC, 2020).

In the United States, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has also expressed interest in the BNPL industry. In March 2021, the CFPB issued a statement emphasizing the importance of fair and transparent lending practices, and noting that BNPL providers may be subject to certain federal consumer protection laws (CFPB, 2021).

As the regulatory landscape evolves, BNPL providers may face increased scrutiny and potential changes to their business models. Some possible developments include:

  1. Increased disclosure requirements regarding fees, interest rates, and repayment terms
  2. Enhanced credit reporting and assessment practices to ensure responsible lending
  3. Expanded consumer protections, such as dispute resolution processes and refund policies
  4. Possible caps on late fees and interest charges

While regulation is necessary to protect consumers and promote fair lending practices, it‘s essential to strike a balance that allows for innovation and competition in the BNPL space.

The Future of Buy Now, Pay Later and E-commerce

As e-commerce continues to grow and evolve, it‘s clear that BNPL services will play an increasingly important role in shaping the future of online retail. The global BNPL market is expected to reach $680 billion by 2025, representing a compound annual growth rate of 13.23% (Research and Markets, 2021).

Amazon‘s partnerships with Klarna and Zip signal a growing acceptance of BNPL in the e-commerce industry, and may prompt other major players to follow suit. As more retailers embrace BNPL options, consumers can expect increased flexibility and choice when it comes to financing their online purchases.

However, the rise of BNPL also presents challenges and opportunities for traditional financial institutions. Banks and credit card companies may need to adapt their offerings to compete with the convenience and accessibility of BNPL, while also emphasizing the benefits of more comprehensive consumer protections and loyalty programs.

As the BNPL industry matures, we can expect to see continued innovation and collaboration between fintech companies, retailers, and financial institutions. Some potential developments include:

  1. Expansion of BNPL into new verticals, such as healthcare, education, and travel
  2. Integration of BNPL with other financial management tools, such as budgeting apps and savings accounts
  3. Personalized BNPL offers based on individual shopping habits and credit profiles
  4. Increased use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve underwriting and fraud detection

Ultimately, the future of BNPL will be shaped by the evolving needs and preferences of consumers, as well as the regulatory environment and competitive landscape. As a picky shopper and retail consumer expert, I believe that transparency, flexibility, and responsible lending practices will be key to the long-term success and sustainability of the BNPL industry.


In conclusion, while Amazon does not currently accept Afterpay, the e-commerce giant has embraced other BNPL options through partnerships with Klarna and Zip. As the BNPL industry continues to grow and evolve, it‘s likely that more online retailers will integrate these payment methods to meet the changing needs and preferences of consumers.

However, as with any financial product, it‘s crucial for shoppers to carefully consider their budgets and repayment capabilities before committing to a BNPL plan. By staying informed and making responsible decisions, consumers can take advantage of the flexibility and convenience offered by these innovative payment solutions while avoiding potential pitfalls.

As a picky shopper and retail consumer expert, I believe that the rise of BNPL presents both challenges and opportunities for the e-commerce industry. By prioritizing transparency, affordability, and customer satisfaction, retailers like Amazon can continue to thrive in an increasingly competitive and dynamic marketplace. Ultimately, the future of online shopping will be shaped by the choices and experiences of consumers, and BNPL is poised to play a significant role in this ongoing evolution.


Amazon and the Rise of Buy Now, Pay Later: Afterpay, Klarna, and More - Marketing Scoop (2024)


Does Amazon accept Afterpay or Klarna? ›

You can use Afterpay on Amazon even though it's not directly available at Amazon checkout. You can do it with a single-payment Afterpay credit card, purchase Amazon gift cards through Afterpay, or utilize the Afterpay app for Amazon purchases.

Does Amazon no longer accept Afterpay? ›

Amazon does not directly accept Afterpay as a payment method. However, the two workarounds, the Afterpay single-use payment card, and the gift card option, allow you to use Afterpay for purchases on Amazo.

Does Amazon have a buy now, pay later option? ›

Customers can more easily pay for big-ticket goods and services using the Buy Now, Pay Later service, while you receive the full amount as soon as the transaction is processed. For a new customer : 1. The customer selects the product and proceeds to checkout. On the Payment selection screen, the customer selects Tabby.

What is the trend in BNPL in 2024? ›

Key takeaways. Adoption of buy now, pay later (BNPL) is slowing year-over-year (YoY), with the share of Bank of America customers with a BNPL payment increasing by only half a percentage point (pp) in March 2024 compared to a one pp increase the previous year.

Why is Klarna not working on Amazon? ›

Check the Klarna App: Ensure your Klarna app is updated to the latest version. Review Your Account: Make sure your Klarna account is in good standing and you have sufficient available credit. Contact Klarna Support: If the issue persists, reach out to Klarna's customer support for assistance.

How to use Afterpay on Amazon 2024? ›

Access the Afterpay app or website, add the virtual card details used for the Amazon purchase, and follow the prompts to divide the outstanding cost into four equal installments, automatically deducted from your card every two weeks.

How many Amazon orders can you have with Afterpay? ›

HOW MANY ORDERS CAN I HAVE AT ONE TIME? Afterpay advocates for responsible spending, so you can have up to 3 orders at a time. As the system gets familiar with you, it allows the opportunity for increased spending limits.

Why can't I find Amazon on Afterpay? ›

While Amazon doesn't accept Afterpay directly, however, there are two workaround methods you can use to pay for your Amazon purchases using Afterpay: single-use payments and Amazon gift cards. Keep reading this article to learn more.

Can you use Sezzle on Amazon? ›

To use Sezzle as a payment method with Amazon, you'll need a Sezzle Virtual Card, an Amazon account, and a Sezzle Premium or Anywhere membership. To place an Amazon order with Sezzle: Open the Sezzle mobile app and find Amazon. Add the items you'd like to purchase to your cart and proceed to checkout.

Who is eligible for Amazon Pay later? ›

You need to have an account with a verified mobile number, a valid permanent account number (PAN) card, bank account with one of the selected banks, and one of the officially valid document as address proof - Driving license, Voter ID card, Aadhaar, Utility Bills (not older than 60 days), Passport.

How to apply for Amazon Buy Now, Pay Later? ›

To subscribe to the Instalments payment option, follow the steps below:
  1. On the payment selection page during checkout, you will be able to select "Instalments by Barclays" as an option if your order is eligible. ...
  2. When selecting Instalments, you will be directed to an online application form.

How to get approved for Amazon Pay later? ›

Eligibility criteria:

You must also be 21 years of age or above. Further eligibility is decided basis information already available with Amazon and your credit bureau history. Based on these and a host of other factors, lending partner will decide the Amazon Pay Later limit for you.

Is Buy Now Pay Later growing? ›

In 2024, total BNPL spending in the US will grow 12.3% YoY to $80.77 billion, according to our July 2023 forecast. Compared with credit cards, BNPL providers like Klarna, Afterpay, and PayPal offer lower- or no-interest funding.

What is the most popular BNPL in the world? ›

Klarna has around 14x more users than any other BNPL service (Klarna) Klarna is currently the most popular BNPL service provider (based on total users). The fintech company had approximately 147 million active users. In the second place, Affirm has 11.2 million active users.

Are we headed for a BNPL trap? ›

Clearly, BNPL, an unsecured, small-ticket loan product, is expanding in the unknown territory of new credit borrowers in smaller geographies. And if Indian BNPL players grow to the size of some of their global counterparts, there is a likely debt trap ahead for these borrowers.

Does Amazon let you pay with Klarna? ›

It is easy and straightforward to use Klarna on Amazon. All you need to do is sign up for Klarna, link your Amazon, and choose Klarna as your payment option at checkout.

What payment methods does Amazon accept? ›

Amazon Pay accepts credit and debit cards. Credit cards currently accepted include Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Diners Club, and JCB. The store card is available for use with selected merchants. In some circ*mstances, you might be limited to using Visa and Mastercard credit cards.

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