RAIZERS EDITION: The Buy Now Pay Later Phenomenon

by “Raizer” Azri

 

In the present day, the ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ (BNPL) trend has become widespread, particularly among the youth. In an era where convenient options sometimes lead to problems, some individuals resort to the BNPL method for purchasing luxury items such as smartphones, electronic devices, jewellery, and more. Nevertheless, this trend has impacted many people, leading to a rise in debts and posing a risky challenge to our financial well-being.

 

BNPL services let consumers buy items and delay payments, usually in instalments without added interest. Their popularity is rising thanks to their convenience, simplicity, and availability on different shopping platforms. They attract users with a flexible and interest-free payment choice, making them especially attractive to younger consumers. Additionally, the user-friendly interfaces, fast approval procedures, and integration with platforms such as ShopeePayLater, GrabPayLater, Atome, and others have increased the broad use of BNPL services in recent years.

 

It never rains but it pours. A suitable proverb that can describe individuals who might have fallen into a cycle debt due to BNPL. There are many reasons why:

  1. Impulse Buying: Sometimes, BNPL makes it easy to buy things on the spot without really thinking. People might end up buying stuff they don’t really need, and this can make them spend more money than they planned.
  2. Underestimating Total Cost: When using BNPL, it’s easy for individuals to not realize the total cost of what they’re buying. The smaller installment amounts might seem okay, but this can cause them to forget about the overall cost and make mistakes in their budget.
  3. Promotional Incentives: BNPL providers often have special deals, like periods with no interest. These deals might make people use the service without thinking about how it could affect their money situation in the long run.

 

There are a few suggestions for managing finances without relying heavily on Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services:

  1. Budgeting: Effectively plan your finances by monitoring your income, expenses, and savings. Categorize your money to ensure wise spending and consider using the 50/30/20 rule.
  2. Financial Education: Enhance your knowledge of managing money wisely. Understanding personal finance empowers you to make informed decisions and avoid unnecessary debts.
  3. Delay Gratification: Practice patience before purchasing non-essential items. Taking time to think helps you decide if the purchase is genuinely needed, preventing unnecessary expenses and debts.
  4. Save and Invest: Make smart financial decisions by allocating at least 20% of your income to savings and investment platforms like Raiz, ASB, Tabung Haji, and others. These platforms cater to long-term investment planning, serving as valuable savings for your future, potentially extending beyond 10 years and contributing to your retirement fund.

 

In summary, with the increasing adoption of ‘Buy Now Pay Later,’ it is crucial for individuals to pause and reflect on their financial decisions. By educating ourselves about potential problems and practicing responsible money management, we can protect against excessive debt and ensure our financial future is headed in the right direction.

 


This article is written by “Raizer” Azri.

 

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