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Top Features of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) Apps

Hitesh Umaletiya
Hitesh Umaletiya
September 1, 2023
Clock icon12 mins read
Calendar iconLast updated September 1, 2023
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In 2022, 28% of the consumers had used BNPL services which was 18% at the beginning of the year. As a result, popular BNPL apps achieved an unprecedented surge in downloads. In this article, We'll give you the figures on why it's becoming so popular. Following that, we will discuss the features the app should contain. 

What is Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)?

BNPL is a short-term financing option that allows customers to make purchases and repay them in multiple equal payments. Various fintech app providers offer different repayment timelines. These providers may charge minimal fees or offer interest-free service to the users.

While technically, a credit card is also a BNPL service, but with subtle differences. 

BNPL is all about lending small amounts to individuals who have poor credit scores or no income source. Furthermore, getting a BNPL account is typically easier than getting a credit card. This is because BNPL providers don't do a hard credit check, making it easier for an individual to avail BNPL services.

Without further delay, let’s begin and learn about the essential features of a BNPL and what to consider when developing one.

Features:

1. Interest-free days & Eary EMI-conversion

Interest-free service, and clarity in the EMI conversion process.

Many established apps in the BNPL services don't charge fees, as their target audience mainly includes students and those with meager incomes. If you start charging fees for using your app, it might not be as attractive to potential customers. But hey, here's a workaround. You can impose a service charge only if they can't make their payment on time.

It's important to remember that you will be competing with established players in the market. Therefore, focusing on features such as interest-free days can be a key strategy. Additionally, ensuring clarity in the in-app EMI conversion process is crucial.

A good example of an effortless EMI conversion process is a BNPL app developed by Brilworks. The company has gone the extra mile by introducing EMI conversion right at the checkout process, providing transparency by showing if the charges are applicable for the EMI option.

This truly innovative approach shows how the team was incredibly focused on creating a more straightforward and user-friendly experience. This prime example showcases how effortless and seamless EMI conversion can be for customers.

A good example of an EMI-conversion process:

BNPL image

Tips:

  • You can levy the service charge to a higher amount.
  • Make sure the interest-free days are at least 30 days, just like or even more than what other service providers offer.
  • Keep it real and be totally transparent about your service charges.
  • Make sure your customers know exactly what they're getting themselves into before they start using your app.

2. Payment Ease

The payment process should be easy to understand, even for people unfamiliar with BNPL apps.

When users are making payments, they want the whole process to be smooth during checkout. And that's even more crucial when it comes to BNPL apps. Remember, people are not going to choose net banking over debit or credit cards because they can easily make payments with cards. The same goes for BNPL services – simplicity is the name of the game!

There are a few things you can do to make the payment process more straightforward for users. The payment process can make or break things; this is where you can work seriously. The easier it is, the more likely customers are to use it over other payment modes. Therefore, the payment page is where you can reinvent the process.

Here is a straightforward method to make payment a breeze for users. Imagine this: users need to authorize and link their BNPL service (or account) once on a specific platform, and done, they can make payment with just one click, without entering the account details, from then on.

However, to prevent unauthorized payment, you may consider adding OTP verification or a more straightforward method of “in-app approval.”  

Additionally, you must provide an alternative OTP option which is a tested and established method to ensure the right person is making payment. You know, that one-time password sent to verify the transaction adds an extra layer of security and gives users more confidence in the process. Also, you may allow users to make smaller payments without involving two-factor authentication.

By making the payment process easy and secure, you can increase your chances of attracting and retaining users.

Tips:

  • Provide them with an additional option to complete the payment process.
  • Enable a single-tap payment facility.
  • An in-app payment approval facility can speed up the transaction process.

3. NFC

The NFC-powered contactless payment market has been growing at a rapid pace and is projected to reach $358 billion by 2025.

google graph content

Besides conventional payment methods such as net banking and debit/credit card transactions, having a contactless and convenient payment method – NFC (which refers to as near-field communication) can be a great way to encourage customers to make payments easily using their NFC-compatible devices near compatible terminals while on the move. 

This contactless payment feature could be a strong selling point for your app, as it can save customers time and effort compared to traditional payment methods.

4. User-Centric Homepage

The development of the homepage depends on your project's requirements. For example, if you plan to team up with merchants and reward customers for making payments, you can dedicate a special offer or promotional section on the homepage.

Now, one significant aspect to highlight on the homepage is the "payment reminder." When users open the app, they receive reminders about their due dates and the amount they have to pay.

Brilworks, having developed several BNPL apps, found that payment options, transaction history, user management, and a dedicated section to keep users informed about their transactions were among the hottest features that major clients requested on their homepage.

Tips:

  • Keep the homepage simple and clutter-free.
  • Feature most used functionalities on the homepage.
  • Place Profile Management and Transaction History at the top for easy access.
  • Use intuitive icons and quick actions for user-friendly navigation.

profile dashboard

5. Pin or Password Protection

"Security in fintech apps is not an option; it's a necessity."

A BNPL app contains financial information; therefore, it should have an extra layer of security. So, users can pick their style - a PIN, password, or biometrics authentication - whatever floats their boat. The additional security ensures that only authorized users can access the app.

But the most important is onboarding should be straightforward. So, when users register, you can provide them the freedom to set up their authentication right then, or if they feel like taking it easy, they can totally skip it for now and do it later whenever they're ready.

Check out this slick example of how Brilworks crafted the "Not Now" button, allowing users to bypass the security setup process upfront. So, they can dive right into the app, and whenever they're ready, they can easily configure their choices at their own pace.

With this approach, you can lock it down tight while keeping things user-friendly.

pin setting

6. Referral Program

Referral program - let your users be the marketers.

 A referral program is a marketing strategy where you allow your existing customers to become your marketers and earn rewards for promoting your app. This is a great way to get the word out about your app and attract new users. In exchange, you can reward the referees with promotional credit, discount vouchers, or some sort of benefit.

Referral programs are a great way to raise awareness about your brand and market your app.

Tips:

  • Make the rewards valuable enough to motivate users to refer their friends.
  • Make it easy for users to refer their friends. The referral process should be straightforward.
  • Track the results of your referral program. This will help you figure out which rewards are most effective and how you can fine-tune your program.
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7. Support Features

 “If you don’t take care of your customer, your competitor will.” – Bob Hooey. 

When people use BNPL apps; they often deal with their finances. This can be a sensitive topic, and people need to feel confident that they can get help if they need it.

That's why having a round-the-clock customer support system is crucial. This system should be easy to navigate so that users can easily access it if they need help.

Also, you can use a combination of AI-driven bots, live chat, and email support. AI-driven bots can be a great way to offer basic support. However, it's important to note that users can often detect automated responses, which can have a negative impact. If the users come across any genuine issues, make it easy for them to connect with your support team. Keep it straightforward and hassle-free. That way, they can quickly reach out for help and get their concerns sorted out.

That's why it's also important to have live chat and email support available. This way, users can get in touch with a real person if they have a more complex issue or need help with something that an AI-driven bot can't handle.

By providing excellent customer support, you can build trust with your users and make them more likely to use your BNPL app again in the future.

Tips:

  • Make sure your customer support team is knowledgeable about BNPL.
  • Be responsive to customer inquiries.
  • Resolve customer issues quickly and efficiently.
  • Offer a variety of support channels, such as live chat, email, and phone support.

8. Flexible Credit Limit

Your users may use the BNPL service if they don't have sufficient money for the entire purchase, or they can also use it when they want to divide the amount into parts rather than paying it all upfront.

Sometimes the credit limit can be a barrier; you can offer flexibility to enhance the limit further.

BNPL image 4

The flexible credit limit is all about providing an option for those users who are responsible, the ones who pay on time to enhance credit limit . With this feature, businesses can become major players in the payment game, especially for big purchases.

When asked about the key strategies they consider for developing a flexible credit limit, he responded with the following, breaking into three steps to unlock a flexible credit limit:

Initial limit: When users first sign up for an app, the service provider can set an initial limit based on their credit score, purchase history, and income. This is just a starting point, though. 

Assessment: The app keeps track of how the user uses the app and their payment behavior. If they are always paying their bills on time and their spending is under control, it can be a green signal. 

Gradual increase: Instead of randomly increasing their limit overnight, you should increase it gradually, over time. In this way, you can provide a flexible credit limit to responsible users.

You can use a integrate advanced scoring system to determine how much credit each user is eligible for. By offering a flexible credit limit, you can make your BNPL app more attractive to users. This is because users will know that they can gradually increase their limit as they build up a good payment history.

Tips:

  • Start with a small credit limit. This will help you mitigate risk and ensure that users are able to make their payments on time.
  • Review credit limits regularly. As users build up a good payment history, you can gradually increase their credit limit.

9. More than a Credit App

You can also add additional features to your BNPL app, making it more versatile and useful for users.

For example, you can add a feature that allows users to track their payments and manage their financial transactions. By adding additional features to your BNPL app, you can make it more valuable to users and increase the likelihood of app retention when they are using BNPL services.

Tips:

  • Make sure that the additional features are relevant to your target audience.
  • Educate your customers about additional features.
  • Let your users know about the additional features that you offer and make it easy for them to find them.

10. Transfer to Bank Facility

Users often view banks as a more secure choice because they may initially feel less confident about storing their money in an in-app wallet.

To address this, you can offer a transfer-to-bank facility. This means that users can easily transfer funds from the app back to their bank accounts if needed. This will give users peace of mind knowing they can access their funds if needed.

This means that users will be able to get their money back quickly if they need to return a purchase. This will make the app more appealing to users and foster trust in the platform.

Tips:

  • Ensure that the transfer-to-bank facility is easy to use. Users shouldn't struggle to transfer their funds.

An Analysis of BNPL Market

  • The U.S. buy now pay later market size is expected to reach USD 9.20 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 24.3% from 2023 to 2030. This implies that there is a large and increasing demand for BNPL services.
  • The BNPL industry is relatively new, and there is some uncertainty about the regulations.
  • The BNPL industry has witnessed significant growth in the United States over the past two years, particularly within the retail sector.
  • Retailers with Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) technology enabled on their website overall performed better than those without.
  • BNPL market is booming, particularly among younger consumers.

Over the past few years, the BNPL service went off the charts, as the growing number of Americans used it for everyday needs such as groceries, food delivery, and online shopping.

statistics

According to Statista reports, Affirm, a prominent BNPL company, banked a bigger profit of nearly 70 percent year-over-year during the first quarters of 2021, which means it grew nearly four times more than in 2020.

Though covid-19 subsided, the surge for BNPL services continued to grow. And the rise in digital transactions signals that the BNPL market and credit cards are set to expand in a positive direction in the forthcoming years.

Conclusion

This article explores the essential features to include in a BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) app in 2023. Also, It provides valuable tips and BNPL market insights.

Also, we have shared a snippet that highlights how Brilworks developed a comprehensive Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) app. If you are interested in learning more about its functionalities, you can access our detailed case study.

The study discusses the development process of the Flexibuy app, which was designed for one of our esteemed clients. Additionally, it sheds light on the significant challenges encountered while creating a Fintech app.

Furthermore, if you require fintech development services, you to connect with our team. We have all the necessary expertise and resources to help you create a strong and customized fintech application that meets your specific needs.

Hitesh Umaletiya

Hitesh Umaletiya

Co-founder of Brilworks. As technology futurists, we love helping startups turn their ideas into reality. Our expertise spans startups to SMEs, and we're dedicated to their success.

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