Buy now, pay later statistics: what impact is the trend having on the industry?

1 min readLast updated April 30, 2024by Rachel Carey

Unpack buy now pay later statistics that offer illuminating insights into its increasing global prevalence and the driving forces behind its widespread adoption.


  • The buy now pay later (BNPL) market is projected to experience a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21.20% from 2020 to 2030.  

  • 47% of BNPL users utilize the service for otherwise unfeasible purchases. 

  • Men use BNPL more than women, with a usage rate of 62.8% compared to 51.36%. 

  • Consumers aged 18-34 are three times more likely to use BNPL than those aged 55 and above. 

Buy now, pay later statistics 

The buy now, pay later (BNPL) market is experiencing exponential global growth.  

In 2020 alone, buy now pay, later data reveals that the market boasted an impressive 55 million users worldwide, with transactions totaling a staggering $60 billion.  

This growth trajectory shows no signs of slowing down. Projections indicate a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21.20% from 2020 to 2030, underscoring the increasing prominence of BNPL services in the financial landscape.  

The United States emerges as a key player in the BNPL arena, with approximately 1 in 5 BNPL customers residing in the country.  

Market modeling further reveals a notable uptick in BNPL transactions within the United States, with estimates suggesting a 14% increase in 2024 compared to the previous year.  

What are the top reasons people choose to buy now, pay later? 

Buy now, pay later research suggests that the allure of BNPL services extends beyond mere convenience. Consumers cite various reasons for opting to utilize this payment method.  

A significant 47% of BNPL users say that they turn to this service to make purchases that may otherwise be financially unfeasible.  

Several other factors are also driving the adoption of BNPL:  

  • 33% of consumers use BNPL to avoid credit card interest.  

  • 24% of consumers use BNPL to borrow without a credit check.  

  • 15% of consumers opt for BNPL due to difficulties in obtaining approval for credit cards.  

  • 15% eschew credit cards altogether, preferring rather to use BNPL. 

What are the best buy now, pay later apps? 

In the ever-expanding BNPL landscape, consumers have a plethora of buy now, pay later apps to choose from. Various apps cater to different preferences and needs, offering unique features and benefits.  

According to Statista Consumer Insights, PayPal emerges as the frontrunner, capturing the lion's share of the market with its interest-free "Pay in 4" option.  

What are the buy now, pay later gender statistics? 

Buy now, pay later statistics reveal that gender plays a significant role in BNPL usage patterns. 

According to a survey of 2,000 respondents, 55.8% of those questioned had used a BNPL service. The survey showed that men tend to use BNPL more than women, with 62.8% of males and 51.36% of females utilizing BNPL services.  

Buy now, pay later statistics from a 2021 consumer survey of men and women who said they had used a BNPL service in the United States revealed that men are more likely to use BNPL for online shopping, with a penetration rate that increased by nearly 50% between March 2021 and the previous survey in July 2020. However, it didn’t provide the growth rate for male and female respondents.  

While 51% of female respondents (who made up almost six out of ten respondents in the 2021 survey) had used BNPL, nearly 63% of male respondents had done so, highlighting a gender disparity in BNPL adoption rates. 

What are the buy now, pay later race statistics? 

Buy now, pay later data indicates that race significantly influences BNPL usage rates.  

Black consumers exhibit a significantly higher likelihood of utilizing BNPL platforms compared to their White counterparts, about 63% more likely to use BNPL platforms than White consumers.  

Hispanic consumers also demonstrate a pronounced preference for BNPL services, being 50% more likely to utilize these platforms compared to White consumers.  

This buy now, pay later trend is reflected in the distribution of BNPL usage rates among racial groups, with 26% of Black consumers, 24% of Hispanic consumers, and 16% of White consumers using BNPL services. 

What are the buy now, pay later age statistics? 

Buy now, pay later statistics show that consumers aged 18-34 years old exhibit a significantly higher likelihood of utilizing BNPL services and are three times more likely to use BNPL than consumers aged 55 and above.  

The younger generation, specifically Generation Z, emerges as a driving force behind the proliferation of BNPL, with nearly half of Gen Z individuals expected to embrace BNPL by 2025. 

Here’s a breakdown of BNPL users by generation

Generation202120232025% Change
Gen Z 36.80% 46.50% 47.40% ↑ 10.6%
Millennial 30.30% 39.50% 40.60% ↑ 10.3%
Gen X 17.20% 26.30% 30.90% ↑ 13.7%
Baby Boomers 6.20% 12% 14.80% ↑ 8.6%

What are the buy now, pay later income statistics? 

On average, BNPL users tend to have higher incomes than non-users, with four out of six users reporting earnings surpassing those of non-users.  

A notable one-third of BNPL users reported earning more than $70,000 in the past year, compared to only 22.5% of non-users.  

Despite this general buy now, pay later trend, BNPL usage is most prevalent among consumers with annual incomes ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that 21% of individuals within this income bracket had made a BNPL purchase in the last 12 months.  

Conversely, buy now, pay later statistics show that use is least popular among consumers with annual incomes exceeding $200,000, with only a 9% usage rate in the same period. 

What countries use BNPL most? 

According to data from Worldpay, Payments Cards & Mobile, and, Sweden leads the pack as the fastest adopter of BNPL services.  

In 2021, a remarkable 25% of e-commerce payments in Sweden were conducted using BNPL services, maintaining its top position since records have been kept.  

Germany is Sweden’s closest competitor, with BNPL accounting for 18%, 19%, and 20% of e-commerce payments in 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively. Norway ranks third, with BNPL making up 13%, 15%, and 18% of e-commerce payments in the corresponding years.  

Notably, no country from the Americas, the Middle East, or Africa features in the top ten.  

The United States ranks eleventh, alongside France, Singapore, Malaysia, and Italy, with BNPL comprising 4% of e-commerce payments in each of these countries in 2021. 

What is the future of buy now, pay later? 

The future of BNPL is bright, with buy now, pay later trend projections indicating remarkable growth and widespread adoption.  

By 2027, the number of BNPL users is expected to skyrocket by 157%, reaching 900 million users. This exponential increase reflects the growing popularity and acceptance of BNPL as a preferred payment method.  

By 2030, the BNPL market is forecast to reach a staggering value of $3.27 trillion. 

Get expert financial advice 

Buy now, pay later statistics paint a compelling picture of BNPL services redefining consumer payment habits. With projections pointing towards exponential expansion and increasing prominence, BNPL holds the potential to revolutionize the way individuals shop and transact in the years to come. 

In navigating the BNPL landscape, seeking a financial advisor for expert advice can provide clarity and tailored strategies for managing your finances effectively.  

Let Unbiased match you with an expert who can offer guidance tailored to your financial needs.  

Senior Content Writer

Rachel Carey

Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.