May 10, 2023

Caution urged as BNPL plans increase in popularity

Since being introduced in Canada, “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) plans have become increasingly popular as an alternative to the use of credit cards that require a credit check. However, many industry leaders warn of the dangers that come with the use of short-term loans for consumers.

Co-head of the firm’s Consumer Protection and Fintech groups Brigitte Goulard told Yahoo Finance Canada in an interview that its accessibility has helped to fuel the popularity of BNPL, giving people the false impression that they have access to free money.

"It can make it very easy to borrow money, without giving the chance for consumers to consider the consequences of entering into that commitment," she said.

Read: Expect increased regulatory focus on “buy now, pay later” financing

Brigitte continued, explaining the BNPL space is an especially important one to watch, given inflation and the rising cost of living.

"It doesn't foster a culture of budgeting. It fosters a culture of spending," she said.

"If you're organized and you always pay on time, then it's a good product that allows you to pay in instalments without having interest or fees. If you're not disciplined, it's not a good product."

You can read more about our Consumer Protection work on our practice page.

Press Contact

Richard Coombs | Senior Manager, Marketing

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