Launched in the 2010s thanks to the development of ecommerce, the concept of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) is about to enter a new chapter in the European payments ecosystem. Famous for its opportunities in the context of an economic crisis, BNPL is also a point of attention for the European and national regulators that aim to safeguard consumer protection in times of macroeconomic and geopolitical instability.
Today, the development of BNPL is often seen as one of the main trends in the European payments ecosystem – but it is important to acknowledge that this concept represents different realities according to the specificities of each European country. In France, for instance, two main offers have been developed: a deferred payment of 15 or 30 days – and a purchase split in three or four (usually interest-free) payments over a period of approximately 90 days. Thus, if the payment is deferred or split over a period of more than 90 days, it is no longer regarded as BNPL, and it becomes a consumer credit, according to French legislation.
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