Which? is calling for buy now, pay later firms to be fully regulated, as its new research finds “concerning” industry practices encourage people to spend more than they planned.
The consumer choice firm’s research suggests that buy now, pay later firms, such as Klarna and ClearPay, use “pushy” marketing strategies and features such as express checkouts, which drives people to overspend and fall into debt.
The research conducted by Which? found that nearly a quarter (24%) of buy now, pay later users spent more than they planned to, and one in 10 (11%) users reported they incurred late charges by paying this way.
The research also found that a quarter of users (26%) said they had not planned to use this type of payment option until it popped up at checkout, while two in 10 (18%) said they used BNPL because they were offered a discount to do so.
A Klarna spokesperson said: “Klarna is a fully licensed bank and offers a number of products already regulated by the FCA, so we already operate to very high regulatory and operating standards, which we apply across all out products.
“Consumers deserve the highest protections no matter the provider or product they choose and regulation in the UK may now be the best means to achieve that. That’s why we fully support appropriate regulation which meaningfully improves consumer outcomes across the sector.”