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What’s behind the rise of BNPL in e-commerce.

  • Written by Klarna. 

    Over the past couple of years, e-commerce has grown as never before. Retailers had to shut down their physical stores and quickly move their businesses online. Consumers, on their hand, started to look for ways to shop, pay and bank that would best suit their new reality. While things are slowly getting back to normal, consumer trends that accelerated during the pandemic, such as online shopping and flexible payment options, are here to stay.

    A great number of Irish consumers (40%) now search for a product online before considering going anywhere else, with another 80% agreeing that they can find the best deals and recommended products online (1). At the same time, there has been a huge shift in the way people pay for their everyday purchases. Irish consumers are increasingly moving away from credit cards that charge high interest and fees to debit as their primary payment option. Indeed, debit card spend has grown three times faster than credit card spend between 2015 and 2020. As these consumer preferences consolidate, interest in flexible payment options, such as Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) - a way of splitting your payments over time without incurring high interest - has increased.

    Consumers turn to BNPL because it offers greater flexibility and security when shopping online, for instance when they buy from unfamiliar merchants, want to try multiple products and only pay for what they keep or want to spread the cost of larger payments with no interest or fees. 

    One of the biggest players in the BNPL sector is Klarna. Founded in 2005 in Stockholm, the company is one of the largest payment and shopping providers in the world, with over 147 million consumers and 400,000 retailer partners worldwide. Klarna launched in Ireland in November 2021 with its BNPL option “Pay in 3”, which allows consumers to spread the cost of a purchase in three interest-free and fee-free installments via both the Klarna app and directly via integrated partner retailers. Klarna also offers “Pay Now”, allowing consumers to pay immediately and in full at checkout. 

    “Klarna gives consumers greater control over how they want to shop and pay, saving them money and time,” Colin Creagh, Head of Business Development in Ireland comments, “we believe that consumers should first and foremost pay with money they have. But in certain situations credit makes sense, for instance when shopping online. BNPL offers safer, more sustainable payment options to customers”. Colin is one of the speakers of this year’s eComm Live conference, which will take place in Belfast on April 28, and will discuss everything from the rise of BNPL to what the evolving consumer trends mean for the future of e-commerce. 

    As consumers’ expectations about their online shopping experience continue to grow, payments and shopping tools such as Klarna will become even more important for retailers who are trying to quickly adapt to the fast-evolving retail industry. Klarna offers its retail partners unique marketing and media solutions, including virtual shopping, comparison shopping service, influencer marketing, a browser extension and sponsored placement and messaging in the Klarna app.

    Tickets for eComm Live are on sale now at

    Sync NI readers can use code ‘SYNC20’ to receive 20% off all tickets.

    1. Survey run in Sept 2021 on 500 consumers in Ireland.

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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