Mobile-only digital bank Up has announced it is launching a savings-based alternative to Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) financial products with the aim of protecting customers from overextension, late fees and buyer’s remorse.
Customers of Up, which operates as an independent arm of Bendigo Bank (ASX: BEN), can now create an automated savings plan for individual items they've found while shopping online in what the fintech is labelling as a ‘Maybuy’.
“Maybuy is a fun and easy way to buy things you actually love with money you actually have. That means there’s no regrets and no debt,” Up head of product Anson Parker said.
The initiative follows research released by the Melbourne-based neobank today, which found that more than a quarter of Australians under 35 felt BNPL services encouraged them to make purchases they regret.
“Our research uncovered almost a third (30 per cent) of young Australians found their purchases less enjoyable when paid over multiple instalments. So, we want to give people more time to make decisions about what they buy, which in turn we hope will lead to increased purchase satisfaction and better financial outcomes,” Parker says.
“It also found over half (53 per cent) of BNPL users want to save money but don’t know where to start. Maybuy offers a tangible solution and a savings launch pad to make saving feel a whole lot easier.”
With roughly three in 10 young Aussies feeling stressed or apprehensive when using BNPL services, Parker said the research revealed a strong appetite for removing BNPL temptations, especially if they are mismanaged.
Almost two in five (39 per cent) young Australians admitted they’ve had multiple BNPL purchases active at once, with one in four (26 per cent) conceding they’ve used the services despite feeling worried they may not be able to afford the repayments.
With Maybuy, once a financial goal is reached, users will be allowed to purchase the item or reconsider and keep the money they’ve put aside for something else.
Coinciding with the launch of Maybuy, Up is hosting a limited-time pop-up store in Melbourne – The Maybuy Exchange – providing people with the opportunity to reclaim money back in exchange for purchases they now regret.
The store will feature an ‘Anti-Impulse Machine’ where customers can physically swap their previous impulse purchases for the chance to get back between $10 and $500.
Launched in 2017 and now boasting more than half a million customers, Up’s app will still let users to connect to the BNPL service Afterpay before completing a transaction.
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