Australian consumers are increasingly embracing ‘buy now pay later’ (BNPL) services, with providers experiencing a 4.5% increase in revenue in FY22-23 alone.

New research from a leading finance platform,, has revealed that more than half (59%) of Australians have tried at least one BNPL service. However, a large proportion are not aware of the potential risks associated with using these BNPL platforms. Almost half (47%) believe that providers are bound by the same consumer protection laws and requirements to comply with the same responsible lending obligations as traditional banks, which at the time of the survey was incorrect. found the younger the consumer, the more likely they are to embrace BNPL services. Three-quarters (77%) of 18-to-30-year-olds admitted to using at least one provider to make a purchase, compared with 69% of 31-to-50-year-olds and 39% of over-50s. 

The survey revealed a similar consensus of BNPL users across the states in Australia. However, leading the charge were Western Australia and New South Wales with the highest percentage of respondents reporting that they have used a BNPL platform at an equal 61%, followed by 56% of Victorians and Queenslanders and 55% of South Australians. 

More than one-third (38%) believe missing a BNPL payment will not affect their credit score, when actually BNPL services do have the right to report repeatedly missed payments to credit reporting bureaus. Adding to concerns, the survey also found that roughly one-quarter (24%) think BNPL is not a form of credit and almost one in six (14%) believe that their bank or credit card supplier will not know if they use a BNPL service.

Licensed financial adviser and spokesperson Helen Baker said, “BNPL services are particularly appealing to those that struggle to get a credit card or loan, as there is no test or credit score check in place for borrowers to get approved. But if a BNPL user has not developed good credit behaviour – such as, paying off credit in full each month, or managing their instalment payments – they will struggle to stay on top of BNPL services.

“Using BNPL is particularly risky when the economy is uncertain; if a BNPL user loses their job, what happens to the repayments? They still need to be paid, otherwise fees and interest rates can plunge the user into further debt much faster.”