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Adding ‘buy now pay later’ to your WooCommerce shop

“Buy Now Pay Later” services like Klarna, Affirm, Clearpay and PayPal credit have been increasing in popularity, especially over the lockdown period. In this article we talk about adding them to your WooCommerce store and raise a question about the ethics of these services.

So What is Buy Now, Pay Later?

The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services offer customers a short term loan to pay for products instead of paying in full at checkout. Your WooCommerce shop probably uses a payment gateway like Stripe or PayPal to process payments.  These BNPL services fit into your checkout like these normal payment gateways. They pay you and then the customer pays back the loan to the BNPL provider.

Buy now pay later options on the Marks & Spencer website

How Can I Add One to WooCommerce?

There are WooCommerce plugins for the most popular BNPL providers in the UK including Klarna and Clearpay. Once one of these is installed to your site the customer will have the option to pay using that service. WooCommerce can offer multiple payment options at checkout, giving the customer the choice of how they pay.

PayPal offer credit once the customer moves to their site to pay if you are using the PayPal gateway built in to WooCommerce, with no extra plugin required for your WooCommerce shop.

Should I Add Buy Now Pay Later to My Shop?

While it’s pretty straightforward to add BNPL to your shop and it often increases average order value (PayPal found that average order values for retailers increased by 15% once they started to offer financing), there are some ethical concerns.

Which? discuss these in their article about Buy Now Pay Later schemes and it largely comes down to the amount of credit offered potentially leading to unmanageable debt. It’s up to you and the values of your business whether you want to encourage customers to spend more than they can afford at time of purchase.

MoneySavingExpert report that BNPL will now be regulated and the providers will include affordability checks, to avoid people getting into debt they cannot afford to repay.

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