Baby boomers to lead BNPL growth as two in five plan to use services

TransUnion’s Q1 Consumer Pulse survey unveils intriguing insights into the BNPL services landscape, pointing towards an unexpected demographic shift.

According to FinTech Finance, surprisingly, Baby Boomers are at the forefront of this trend, with 38% expressing intentions to adopt BNPL services within the next 12 months, a significant leap from previous quarters. This marks a noteworthy shift, challenging the common perception that BNPL services are predominantly embraced by younger generations.

The data showcases a sector that is not only thriving but also diversifying. BNPL, a service allowing consumers to divide purchases into manageable instalments often without interest, has maintained its appeal, with nearly a quarter of adults (23%) utilising it over the past year. This rate echoes the enthusiasm observed just before the festive season, highlighting BNPL’s sustained popularity.

Moreover, the survey sheds light on generational engagement with BNPL services. While Baby Boomers show a burgeoning interest, Millennials and Gen Z continue to represent a significant portion of BNPL users. The figures remain stable for Millennials, with a third (33%) utilising these services over the past year, and Gen Z’s participation has seen a year-on-year increase from 28% to 34%.

Kelli Fielding, TransUnion’s Chief Product Officer in the UK, emphasizes the incorporation of BNPL data into credit reports as a milestone. “With BNPL data now incorporated into credit reports, consumers have a clearer view of their overall financial picture. This can help protect shoppers and support financial inclusion and wider access to credit,” Fielding said. This integration not only promotes financial transparency but also aids in crafting a comprehensive borrowing landscape, beneficial for both consumers and finance providers.

The survey also highlights consumer preferences and behavioural patterns across generations, with clothing and accessories topping the list of BNPL purchases, particularly among Gen Z and Millennials. Additionally, the reasons for avoiding BNPL vary by age, with a significant portion of Baby Boomers (57%) citing no need for such services, contrasting with younger generations who primarily aim to evade debt.

Fielding further adds, “The latest Consumer Pulse survey highlights the importance of responsible borrowing across all age groups.” This underscores the critical nature of understanding BNPL’s terms and conditions, advocating for informed financial decisions to foster the sector’s long-term success.

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