The global Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) market reached $120 billion in 2021. The market recorded a CAGR of more than 85% from 2019 to 2021. Millennials and Generation Z are the main demographics driving the adoption of BNPL. Buy now pay later (BNPL) providers disrupt the lending sector by simplifying access to loans to consumers and reducing friction at payment points. The sector has been around for many years, but it has seen rapid growth recently as key players expanded into new regions. Long dominated by key BNPL providers such as Klarna, Clearpay, and Affirm, the sector is now being challenged by incumbent card networks and banks such as Visa, Mastercard, and Barclays.

The sector has been able to grow so rapidly partly due to a lack of regulation. However, governing bodies are reviewing the sector and considering imposing rules to protect consumers from accumulating unmanageable debt. This will likely have an impact on BNPL providers’ revenues – which will prove problematic given that many of the industry’s major players are already reporting significant losses.

What are the key trends that will impact the BNPL market in the coming months?

The key trends that will impact the BNPL market in the coming months can be divided into three categories: technology trends, macroeconomic trends, and regulatory trends.

Technology trends

The main technology trends that will impact the BNPL market are online payments, mobile payments/mobile commerce, social media, super apps, and machine learning.

Macroeconomic trends

The main macroeconomic trends that will impact the BNPL market are millennials and generation Z, BNPL providers collaborating with card scheme networks, low-income consumers, credit cards, inflation, consumers’ online shopping expectations, open banking, acquisitions, COVID-19 impact, and Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Regulatory trends

The main regulatory trends that will impact the BNPL market are BNPL regulation, failure to properly disclose terms and conditions, strong customer authentication (SCA), and the BNPL credit approval process.

What are the different BNPL value chains?

The value chains in the BNPL market can be divided into segments: lending, open banking, security provider, and credit bureaus.


BNPL providers become the intermediaries between consumers and merchants as they facilitate the purchase for consumers by spreading the cost over multiple installments, but also take on all the risk by paying merchants upfront.

Open Banking

BNPL providers use open banking as an alternative to traditional credit checks. It can provide them with insights into a consumer’s financial data across multiple institutions and can help determine their creditworthiness. In addition, BNPL providers take advantage of open banking to automatically debit payments from their customers by directly connecting to their bank accounts.

Security Provider

Security payment providers oversee transactions and protect participants from potential issues when making an online transaction. They are responsible for providing solutions that verify and authenticate consumer and merchant information. They are also effective at detecting and preventing potential fraud.

Credit Bureaus

Credit bureaus are critical to the credit scoring ecosystem as lenders rely on them to assess consumers’ creditworthiness before approving a loan. But current credit bureau scoring models are only suited for traditional lenders such as credit cards, while not reporting BNPL loans creates a blind spot in the sector that prevents lenders from having a fair assessment of the risk they are taking on when approving a client.

Which are the major companies that are making their mark within the BNPL theme?

Some of the major companies that are making their mark within the BNPL theme are Addi, Affirm, American Express, Amount, Ant Group, Apple, Barclays, Behalf, Biller, Billie, Bread, Bumper, Citi, Curve, and Goldman Sachs.

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BNPL Market Overview

Market size (2021) $120 billion
CAGR (2019–2021) >85%
Key trends Technology Trends, Macroeconomic Trends, and Regulatory Trends
Value chains Lending, Open Banking, Security Provider, and Credit Bureaus
Major companies Addi, Affirm, American Express, Amount, Ant Group, Apple, Barclays, Behalf, Biller, Billie, Bread, Bumper, Citi, Curve, and Goldman Sachs


This report discusses the disruptive potential of the BNPL sector on the payments industry. It identifies the leading companies that are driving growth in the space as well as the benefits BNPL provides to both merchants and consumers. The report also discusses the risks around BNPL loans and the future regulatory outlook.

Reasons to Buy

  • Understand key technology, macroeconomic, and regulatory trends driving BNPL.
  • Find out how BNPL challenges the payment card market.
  • Find out how incumbent financial institutions are responding to BNPL.
  • Identify the key players in the sector.

Key Players

Affirm, Amazon, American Express, Amount, Ant Group, Apple, Barclays, Block, Citibank, CreditLadder, Experian, Equifax, Goldman Sachs, Klarna, JPMorgan Chase, Mastercard, Monzo, NovaCredit, PayPal, Paytm, Revolut, Santander, Sezzle, TransUnion, Zilch, Zip

Table of Contents

Executive Summary



Technology trends

Macroeconomic trends

Regulatory trends

Industry Analysis


Mergers and Acquisitions


Value Chain


Sector Scorecards

Payments sector scorecard

Ecommerce sector scorecard


Secondary Sources

Further Reading

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