As new research shows that more than a quarter of Brits have used BNPL in a six-month period, the FCA has agreed deals with two firms - PayPal and QVC - to make their contract terms easier to understand.
FCA research shows that 27% of UK adults (approximately 14 million) have used BNPL at least once in the six months prior to January 2023. This is up from 17% who said they had used it in the preceding 12 months in May 2022.
Meanwhile, people who have used BNPL more than 10 times in the last 12 months are over twice as likely as those who have not used BNPL to also have a high-cost credit product. They are also almost twice as likely to have increased the amount of debt on credit products over the last year (51% vs 27%); and over four times as likely to have missed a payment of a bill or credit commitment in three of the last six months (27% vs 6%).
Sheldon Mills, executive director, consumers and competition, FCA, says: "Our research shows a significant increase in the use of BNPL over the past year. When used appropriately, the product provides valuable benefits, but we want to ensure that consumers, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances, have adequate protections and are given sufficient information."
The watchdog does not yet have regulatory oversight over BNPL products but says it has worked with PayPal and QVC to voluntarily make their continuous payment authority terms easier to understand. PayPal has also made terms relating to what happens when a consumer cancels the purchase funded by the loan clearer and fairer.