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Boomers turning to buy now pay later

Boomers turning to buy now pay later
Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Over 60s are more likely than younger age groups to use Klarna for homeware and furniture.

Data from Klarna shows that one in eight of its customers is now over the age of 60, with the over 58-year-olds the fastest growing customer demographic of the buy now pay later (BNPL) lender.

Klarna found that of the over-60s that use this payment method, almost one in five (17%) use it to buy furniture and home essentials, compared to just over one in 10 (11%) of those aged 40 to 60.

The over-60s are also more likely than any other age bracket to use Klarna to find deals on products, with 12% saying they use the platform for this reason.

The majority (73%) of older consumers who shop on Klarna said they use it because it is a payment method they trust. Meanwhile, two-thirds (67%) of over-60s use Klarna for its convenience. Six in 10 (58%) said the platform offers additional protection, and 55% say it is a better alternative to credit cards.

Back in 2019, the top three categories on Klarna were clothing and shoes, followed by health and beauty, then home and garden.

But now, while clothing and shoes is still at the top, home and garden has moved into second place and leisure, sport and hobbies has become the third most popular category, according to Klarna data.

Buy now pay later – convenient but concerning

BNPL can be a convenient way for people to spread the cost of their purchases, interest-free. But concerns have been raised that some people could find it difficult to pay back all the money they borrow this way with late payment fees adding to their problems, and missed payments impacting credit reports.

Several studies have pointed to the growth of the BNPL market. For example, a report by Experian published in September 2023 found that BNPL use is on the up.

The credit reference agency’s analysis found that the largest user base is people aged 39 or younger, representing more than half (57%) of users. However, the report said that 2023 had seen the fastest growth from older customers aged 45 to 64.

Experian concluded that “BNPL is no longer a niche credit product”. As of 30 September 2023, Experian had processed a total of 53.8 million BNPL transactions with a combined value of £3.7bn across 5.9 million unique customers. Its analysis suggests that the volume of BNPL transactions in the UK will continue to grow.