UPC: Adding Buy Now Pay Later to Meet Consumer Demand
Installment payments, now more popularly known as buy now pay later, are not a new payment scheme, but they have resurfaced again in the popular consciousness due to the pandemic and consumer desire to have finer control over spending habits.
As of January 2020, 26% of U.S. retailers offered a deferred payment method; by December of the same year, that percentage had increased to 46%.¹ Nearly 36% of U.S. online adults are interested in, currently use, or have used a ‘buy now, pay later’ service for a larger purchase.
This payment method isn’t just for buying an expensive new laptop or that pair of sneakers you’ve been eyeing from an online shop. Installment payments are accepted at many brick and mortar retailers such as Walmart, and demand for them is being noted in industries such as holiday destination planning platforms, vacation rentals, and even for medical and dental services.
Softjourn’s client, Processing Center (UPC), wanted to enable deferred payments as part of its payment gateway for online and in-store purchases. They would then be able to offer this payment type to its bank clientele, who in turn would offer it to merchants, and so on.
UPC’s client base consists of the largest Ukrainian banks and bank organizations, which are issuers or acquirers of payment cards.
As UPC’s technology service provider, Softjourn has completed many projects for the processing center including upgrading and maintaining their processing servers, enabling mobile banking, and solutions for transaction volume testing.
We developed and added an installment payments API at the merchant level within UPC’s eCommerce Connect. This allowed banks to extend installment payments to merchants who wished to offer that payment type to their consumers.
This allows merchants to offer installment payments at checkout. When a consumer with an appropriate payment card purchases from a merchant who accepts installment payments, the consumer can select ‘Buy in Installments’ as their payment choice.
They can then choose the length of their installment plan: 3, 6, 9, or 12 months, each including a different amount of commission that merchants pay to the processor.
At the time of purchase, the chosen payment card is blocked for the entire amount to ensure the customer has funds to complete the purchase. Then the card is debited for just the amount of the first installment payment. The card is unblocked for the remainder of the payment, though it continues to be debited over the length of the installment plan, plus interest.
The purchase amount is transferred to the merchant, less the commission for acquiring on normal terms.
Installment payment data can also be tracked through the eCommerce Connect dashboard.
Our client reaped the following benefits as a result of our collaboration:
- Offer an attractive financial product to existing and new bank clients
- Works for brick and mortar, mcommerce, and ecommerce merchants
- Lessens the risk of a chargeback from customers
- Consumers can choose installment payments right at checkout and don’t need to offer any information other than a valid and funded payment card
- Consumers have the option to select a payment method that fits their budgeting needs
As payments grow increasingly digitized, old methods are becoming new again. Consumers increasingly want new ways to access, manage, and spend their money.
UPC can now offer buy now pay later to its clients, providing yet another way for all involved in the financial ecosystem to interact and exchange goods and services. This helps our client remain at the forefront of the financial industry.