The significance of online shopping in the Philippines has been emphasized now more than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To reduce their odds of getting exposed to the coronavirus, Filipinos are turning to the likes of Lazada and Shopee to shop for their needs and wants.
Credit cards, online wallets, and cash on delivery (COD) are among the most preferred payment methods for online transactions. However, Buy Now, Pay Later is becoming a popular and practical option these days.
If you’re using conventional payment methods, you may be wondering what Buy Now, Pay Later in the Philippines is. Here are some of the things you may want to know.
What Does Buy Now, Pay Later Mean?
Buy Now, Pay Later or BNPL is an installment loan that allows shoppers to delay the payment of any transaction or purchase done online. Through this payment option, you can buy something right away even if you’re short on cash at the moment.
How Buy, Now Pay Later Works
When you shop online, you’ll always be presented with different payment modes, usually via credit card, debit card, or COD. But you may notice that your favorite retailer may also offer a Buy Now, Pay Later option.
When you choose to pay using BNPL, you’ll be able to buy the product without shelling out cash right there and then. But you’re expected to pay it back on the agreed date. If you choose to pay in installments, the payment will be spread across the agreed number of months.
In much simpler terms, BNPL is a type of loan that allows you to pay for purchases without using a credit card.
What are the Advantages of Buy Now, Pay Later in the Philippines?
BNPL has some notable advantages, which make it a potentially popular and preferred payment option. Here are some of them.
1. Flexible Installment Plans
Many BNPL companies offer installment plans for up to 24 months. This is a good payment option if you’re planning to buy big-ticket items, such as appliances, laptops, computers, smartphones, and other personal gadgets.
2. 0% Interest Installments on Buy Now, Pay Later Plans
Some BNPL brands offer interest-free installment loans. This could be a more practical payment option than credit cards since you don’t have to cover fees besides the loan principal.
3. Ability to Make Urgent Purchases
Need to replace that broken laptop ASAP but got no cash? Just get a new one right away and pay using the BNPL option.
4. Can be Used for Offline Purchases
Not many realize that Buy Now Pay Later apps can be used for offline shopping. With that, your smartphone may act somewhat like a credit card when paying for your purchases.
What are the Disadvantages of BNPL Installment Solutions?
1. The Urge to Make Impulse Purchases
Because BNPL is somehow similar to credit cards, it may give you a false sense of security or empowerment when shopping because of the increased purchasing power. As such, you may end up spending way more than your budget allows, which will then lead to debts.
2. The Temptation to Create Multiple BNPL Accounts
There are many apps offering Buy Now Pay Later in the Philippines. Just like how you can get multiple credit cards, you’ll be also able to download multiple BNPL apps and create different accounts. If you don’t shop responsibly, you’ll end up accumulating debts.
3. BNPL Loans with Interest Charges
Because BNPL services are actually installment loans, expect that some providers may require you to pay interest. Some interest rates may start at 1% per month. That means additional expenses for you when you avail of Buy Now Pay Later in the Philippines.
4. Late Payment Fees and Other Transaction Fees
If you can’t pay for the loan by the due date, you’ll be charged a late payment fee. Some companies charge 0.5% and up per day that the loan is not paid. Other than this, the BNPL provider may also charge a transaction fee or loan processing fee.
Buy Now, Pay Later in the Philippines: 9 Options for Online Shoppers
Many fintech brands and Buy Now, Pay Later apps in the Philippines offer digital installment loans. Here are some of the most popular ones.
TendoPay is a fintech brand that allows you to buy now and pay later at popular merchants, such as Lazada, Zalora, 7-Eleven, Vision Express, and The Premium Playground Outlet, among others. You don’t need to have a bank account or credit history to avail of a TendoPay installment loan.
TendoPay BNPL Key Features
Loan amount: PHP 3,000 to PHP 30,000
Loan term: Two to 24 months
Interest rate: 4% to 10% per month
Late payment fee: 0.5% per day that the loan is overdue
Through Lazada Loans, you can avail of monthly installment plans from Lazada’s accredited partners, such as TendoPay, Cashalo, and UnaPay. Upon submission of the application requirements, you may receive notice on your approval within 24 hours. No need to have a guarantor for this kind of loan.
Lazada Loans Key Features
Loan amount: PHP 500 to PHP 50,000
Loan term: Depends on the accredited lender
0% for certain promos and partners
Regular interest rate: 2% to 4%
Late payment fee: Depends on the accredited lender
Grab PayLater is another Buy Now Pay Later service in the Philippines that offers 0% interest. It allows you to consolidate all the costs of your Grab services, which you can pay using your GrabPay balance the following month. When you activate this service, you’ll be given a pre-approved credit line, which you can use for different Grab services, such as Mart, Car, Taxi, Express, and Food. The costs of the Grab services you’ve availed will be then consolidated into a single bill.
This BNPL service makes a good option if you use the Grab app frequently. You may also earn GrabRewards points for each PayLater transaction.
Grab PayLater Key Features
Loan amount: Depending on the pre-approved credit line or on the consolidated costs of the Grab services you’ve availed
Loan term: Payable the next month
Interest rate: 0%
Processing fee: 3.99%
Late payment fee: 3.99%
Developed by Digido Finance Corp., UnaPay offers fast loan approval. Your loan may be approved within 5 minutes, though note that this will depend on your requirements. You can buy items at Lazada using your UnaPay loan credits.
UnaPay Key Features
Loan amount: PHP 2,000 to PHP 50,000
Loan term: One to six months
Interest rate: 3% to 10% per month, depending on the borrower’s credit score
Penalty charge: 10% per month (0.33% per day) until fully paid
Late payment fee: PHP 800
Launched in 2017, BillsEase commits to helping Filipinos take control of their financial future. BillsEase is also the flagship company of First Digital Finance Corporation. You can use BillsEase as your payment option at shops such as Lazada, Kimstore, Datablitz, and Henry’s Camera.
BillEase Key Features
Loan amount: PHP 2,000 to PHP 30,000
Loan term: One to 12 Months
Interest rate: 3.49% per month
Cashalo Shop Now and Pay Later
Cashalo is another popular fintech brand that promotes financial inclusion and empowerment among Filipinos. All loans under its platform are financed by Paloo Financing, Inc. You can avail of 0% interest installment loan with shops such as Lazada, Spyder, Gear Up, Vans, Centroplay, Bikelane, and Motoactive.
Cashalo Shop Now and Pay Later Key Features
Loan amount: PHP 2,500 to PHP PHP 20,999
Loan term: Three to 10 months
Interest rate: 0% with select merchants
Through a CLiQQ loan, you can add credits to your CliQQ Wallet that can be used to buy products at 7-Eleven or CliQQ Grocery (www.cliqqgrocery.com). CLiQQ has partnerships with digital loan providers, such as TendoPay, Venio, Lendpinoy, and Plentina.
The loan amount, loan term, interest rate, and fees depend on your selected CLiQQ loan partner.
Related article: 7-11 CLiQQ App Guide: Pay Your Bills and Send Money Anytime
SPayLater is one of Shopee’s payment options that allow customers to buy now and pay later or get an installment loan. However, products from the voucher category and intangible digital products, such as mobile load, mobile data, and bills payment, are exempt from Shopee’s BNPL service.
As of the moment, SPayLater is available only for select Shopee users, so there may be a chance that you won’t find this feature in your Shopee app. Qualified users who avail of Shopee’s BNPL service must settle their SPayLater bill on or before the 5th of the following month. SPayLater bill payments can be made through ShopeePay, e-wallet (GCash or Coins.ph), payment center (7-Eleven CLiQQ, Bayad Center, Cebuana, etc.), online bank transfer, or over-the-counter bank deposit.
Shopee SPayLater Key Features
Loan amount: Depending on the approved credit limit
Loan term: One to three months
Interest rate: 1% to 5% per month
Processing fee: 1% per transaction amount
Late payment fee: 2.5% to 5% on your bill for the month
Related article: ShopeePay Guide for First-Time Users
pera247 is a fintech app that offers credit products for those who need to buy online. Its flagship services include Instant Loans, eShopping Loan, and Installment Loans. Note that the eShopping loan is exclusive for Lazada purchases only.
pera247 Key Features
Loan amount: PHP 2,000 to PHP 20,000 (PHP 50,000 with Lazada)
Loan term: 6 months (11 months with Lazada)
How Should I Pay the Installment Loan?
This will depend on the BNPL app or brand you’re going to use. But a lot of them use the same repayment outlets. Usually, borrowers can pay their installment loans through the following repayment channels: GCash, PayMaya, GrabPay, 7-Eleven, Bayad Center, LBC, Cebuana Lhullier, and bank transfer.
The way Filipinos shop has surely evolved. Before, many have the impression that online shopping is only for those who have credit or debit cards. But now, anyone can shop online without having to input their card number and CVV number. You can’t deny that one of the many good things about Buy Now, Pay Later in the Philippines is that it promotes financial inclusion among Filipinos. It allows consumers to enjoy the convenience of a credit card without having to own one.
 The State of E-Commerce in the Philippines (Masigan, BusinessWorld, 2020)
 List of Financing Companies (Securities and Exchange Commission website)
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