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North America Buy Now Pay Later Market Report 2021: Despite Major BNPL Service Providers Accelerating their Market Shares, Local Ones are Still Stepping In

Research and Markets
·6-min read

Dublin, April 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "North America Buy Now Pay Later Industry and Trends 2021" report has been added to's offering.

"North America Buy Now Pay Later Industry and Trends 2021" provides insights into the current state and trends in the BNPL market in North America, as well as offers an overview of the industry developments globally, including such major BNPL service providers as Klarna, Afterpay and Affirm.

Consumers worldwide are increasingly opting for BNPL services, but this sometimes comes at high costs

According to figures cited in the report, the majority of BNPL users worldwide are of the younger generations. For instance, in a March 2021 survey, in the USA, close to two-thirds of respondents in the age group 18-44 at least once opted to use a BNPL service. In Canada, the majority of respondents in the October 2020 survey were willing the BNPL option to be offered at checkouts.

Nevertheless, the BNPL services do have some clear downsides for the consumers, as alone in the USA, a significant share of BNPL users have already missed at least one payment, while approximately two-thirds of users had their credit card at more than 75% of the maximum limit at the moment of the first BNPL transaction.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, various authorities became concerned about the accelerated activity of BNPL service providers

Consumers worldwide became increasingly attracted by the BNPL services because of the economic disruptions of the COVID-19 health crisis. The increased use of BNPL raised concerns of several governmental representatives, as the regulatory frameworks are still quite unclear for the industry.

This happened, for example, in Europe, as the European Commission stated plans to update the current consumer credit agreements, considering the BNPL service providers activity; in the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority intends to introduce initiatives concerning the industry this year; and in Australia, where at the behest of Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the Reserve Bank of the country proposed new regulations.

The regulators are mainly concerned about overspending by local consumers and the lack of transparency of the exact terms that BNPL providers apply. Regarding the USA, it is still unclear how the government is going to regulate BNPL services, however, there is already some expectations about the future developments, as detailed in the publication.

Despite major BNPL service providers accelerating their market shares, local ones are still stepping in

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Klarna, one of the main BNPL service providers saw its customer base grow rapidly, as more than 20% of its users connected in 2020. Despite steadily growing revenues, the company initiated new services and further market expansion, which resulted in negative net profits.

Another serious BNPL player, Afterpay, more than doubled its sales, total income, active customer base, and significantly increased the number of connected merchants during the health crisis. Similarly, Affirm, which mainly operates in North America, in January 2021 officially acquired Toronto-based buy now pay later service provider PayBright, in November 2020 stated its partnership with Adyen, and managed to almost double the number of active users in 2020, compared to 2019. Additionally, the company presented its ambitious plan to nearly double its revenue by the end of the 2021 financial year, according to the report.

Report Coverage

  • This report covers North America buy now, pay later market, including USA and Canada. The report also includes data on activities of various governments globally, businesses, banks, and market trends, as well as consumers preferences and demand drivers.

  • Moreover, the report provides an overview of three major BNPL service providers: Klarna, Afterpay, and Affirm. The choice of the companies was based on the number of customers their serve, as well as on the fact that all three have different countries of origin.

  • The report contains relevant information about regulations, international comparisons, market trends, BNPL adoption rates and usage, consumer preferences, and players. Not all types of information were included for each country, due to varying data availability.

Report Structure

  • The report starts with an overview of a global overview of the regulations applied to the BNPL service providers, BNPL trends and benefits for merchants.

  • Regional chapters follow the global overview and include information on countries' activities, consumers' attitude towards BNPL services, and other data points.

  • The market report concludes with the profiles of three major BNPL service providers and their activities during the COVID-19 health crisis, as well as industry related activities of different payment facilitators.

Key Topics Covered:

1. Management Summary

2. Global Overview

  • BNPL Regulations Overview, April 2021

  • BNPL Trends and Benefits for Merchants, April 2021

  • Breakdown of Payment Methods When Booking a Service Related to Travel, incl. BNPL, in % of Adult Travelers, 2020

3. United States of America

4. Canada

5. Major BNPL Service Provider: Klarna

  • Klarna's Activity Overview, April 2021

  • Top 10 CNBC Disruptor Companies, incl. Klarna, June 2020

  • Klarna's Total Net Operating Income, and Net Profit, in SEK thousands, 2016-2020

  • Overall Number of Klarna's Users, and Klarna's Monthly Active App Users, in millions, 2019 & 2020

  • Terms of Use of Klarna's Services, incl. Pay in 4, Pay in 30, Pay Now, and Financing, March 2021

  • Share of Klarna's User Who Ever Missed a BNPL Payment, in %, October 2020

6. Major BNPL Service Provider: Afterpay

  • Afterpay's Activity Overview, April 2021

  • Overview of Afterpay's, PayPal's and CommBank's BNPL Service, incl. credit check, individual purchase price, max credit limit, Use Cases, Payment Plan, and Late Fees, March 2021

  • Afterpay's Underlying Sales, Net Transaction Margin, Gross Losses, Total Income, Active Customers, Merchants, FY 2016-FY 2020, and Year-on-Year Change, in %, FY 2020

  • Share of Transactions via Afterpay that are Paid Back on Time, in %, February 2021

  • Afterpay's Share of Late Fees, in % of Afterpay's Total Income, February 2021

7. Major BNPL Service Provider: Affirm

  • Affirm's Activity Overview, April 2021

  • Overview of Affirms's Key Financial Metrics, incl. GMV, Total Revenue, Transaction Costs, and Adjusted Operating Loss, Q4 2019, Q4 2020, H2 2019, H2 2020

  • Overview of Affirms's Key Financial Metrics, incl. GMV, Total Revenue, Transaction Costs, Adjusted Operating Loss, and Weighted Average Shares Outstanding, Fiscal Q3 2021e, and Fiscal 2021f

  • Affirms's Active Users, in millions, December 2019, June 2020, and December 2020

8. Payment Facilitators Offering BNPL Services

  • Various Facilitators' BNPL Activity Overview, incl. Stripe, Mastercard, and Shopify, March 2021

  • Share of PayPal Credit's User Who Ever Missed a BNPL Payment, in %, October 2020

Companies Mentioned

  • Adyen

  • Affirm

  • Afterpay

  • Amazon

  • American Eagle

  • Apple Pay

  • Ardene

  • BikeExchange

  • Clearbanc

  • Dermalogica

  • Divido

  • Flexiti


  • Fundera

  • FuturePay

  • GOLI

  • Google Pay

  • Greensky

  • Herschel Supply Co.

  • Huda Beauty

  • Klarna

  • Mastercard

  • Maelys Cosmetics

  • Native Shoes

  • Nixon

  • PayBright

  • PayPal

  • PayPlan


  • QuadPay

  • Royal Bank of Canada

  • Sezzle

  • Shopify

  • Splitit

  • Squarespace

  • Stripe

  • Visa

For more information about this report visit

CONTACT: CONTACT: Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470 For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630 For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900