Pilot Study: Buy Now, Pay Later Services in Canada

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has published a pilot study on the use and understanding of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services in Canada as part of the Agency’s research on emerging consumers trends.

Similar to instalment loans, BNPL services allow consumers to purchase goods and services and pay for them over time, either by spreading their payments out into equal, smaller instalments, or by delaying their payments.

Among those surveyed, 34% indicated that they were familiar with these services, and 8% indicated that they had used at least one such service between September 2019 to March 2021. The most common items purchased this way included furniture or appliances (39%), electronics (32%), and clothing and fashion (23%); however, some consumers used the services for household essentials (8%) and groceries (5%). As these findings are based on a small sample, additional research is needed to establish a more comprehensive picture of how Canadians use and understand BNPL services.