Flexible, pay-over-time instalment options have become increasingly popular with buyers all over the world, attracting users across a multitude of platforms. Point-of-sale loans let the buyer break down a purchase into a series of smaller payments, allowing someone to essentially get something now and pay for it later. Businesses offering point-of-sale services have been quick to expand, with companies like Klarna partnering with major retailers and establishing themselves as one the biggest players in the sector.

KlarnaAlternatives

These days, there are lots of “buy now, pay later” apps like Klarna, each with their own pros, cons, and features which we will discuss further in this article. The most popular among them are:
01

Affirm

02

Sezzle

03

Afterpay

04

Laybuy

05

Quadpay

06

Splitit

07

ViaBill

08

GoCardless

09

J2store

10

Sunbit

11

Four

12

FuturePay

13

Partial.ly

14

PayPal Credit

15

Zebit

Klarna Features Review

So how does Klarna work? The most popular feature of the Klarna app is one of its best-selling points – the Pay in 4 payment plan, which allows shoppers to split their purchases into four equal instalments distributed evenly with two-week intervals in between payments. For example, say you buy a $1000 TV. You pay $250 at the checkout, and $250 every two weeks after that for three times.

These instalments are entirely interest-free, but the company will start charging you late fees if the payments fail to go through. You can also make the payment to its full extent before the final due date if that is what suits you.

Another interest-free payment plan available to Klarna users is the “Pay in 30” payment plan. Here, instead of having to pay anything at all at the checkout, shoppers can postpone the payment by 30 days. The company’s policy states that since buyers only want to pay for products they would actually like to use and keep, this payment plan lets them give the product a trial run of sorts, assuming no damage is dealt to the product of course. This applies to every business in the Klarna shop’s list.

Lastly, there is the Pay Now option for your classic shopping experience. Similar to purchasing something with your credit or debit card, you simply check out using the application. The benefit of doing so via the Klarna app is the multitude of exclusive in-app content, such as price drop notifications and sponsored deals from Klarna’s many retail partners. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of this platform, and then analyze some of Klarna’s competitors.

 

Klarna Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Access to exclusive deals and promotions Offers small loan amounts
No prepayment fees when making purchases Charges fees for late payments
Financing options without any interest rate Doesn’t report on-time payments to the credit bureaus

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Klarna Vs Others

Applications APR Term Length & Instalments Late Fees
Klarna 0% 2 months $7 if the automatic payment can’t be collected
Affirm 0% - 30% 3 months – 3 years No late fees
Sezzle 0% 6 weeks $10 fee after missing payment by two days
Afterpay 0% 6 weeks Capped at 25% of the order value
Laybuy 0% 4 – 6 instalments $10 24 hours after failure to pay + $7 week after
Quadpay 0% 2 months $5 - $10 depending on your residence
Splitit 0% - 3% Configurable by the shop No late fees
ViaBill 0% 4 – 24 months $29 - $40 depending on which instalment
GoCardless Depends on the agreement Configurable by the shop Configurable by the shop
J2store 0% 2 – 12 instalments over predetermined length Configurable by the shop
Sunbit 0% - 35.99% 3 – 12 months $10 if late by over ten days
Four 0% 4 instalments $7 late fee for each payment that is not made on schedule
Future.Pay 0% Configurable by the shop First time $25 fee, $35 each one after
Partial.ly 5% Configurable by the shop Configurable by the shop
PayPal Credit 19.9% Configurable by the shop $28 - $39, $5 if balance is under $2
Zebit 0% Up to 6 months No late fees

Affirm

Affirm interface

Headquartered in San Francisco, USA, and founded in 2012, Affirm has since become one of the biggest players in the point-of-sale loans sector, serving more than 6 million customers since its inception and offering financing to more than 6,500 merchants. One of the biggest competitors to apps like Klarna, the company provides short-term loans at checkout, offering its clients a multitude of options for turning large purchases into manageable payments over time. Unlike most point-of-sale companies, Affirm’s policies enable the loans to vary by merchant, meaning payment options and the annual percentage rate will vary depending on where you choose to shop. Most repayment plans fall into the category of 3, 6, and 12-month plans. Interest rates also vary, ranging from 0% and going all the way up to 30%. Since the interest is fixed, it won’t compound the way it does with credit cards. When it comes to Klarna vs Affirm, these two stand toe to toe.

Affirm Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Wide variety of financing and payment instalment options Limited choice of retailers
Absence of fees for transactions High-interest rate
Offers pre-qualification Doesn’t report on-time payments to the credit bureaus

Sezzle

Sezzle interface

Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Minneapolis, USA, Sezzle is a company claiming to be a public-benefit corporation, with the mission of financially empowering the younger generations. Serving more than 2.4 million shoppers and over 29,000 merchants, Sezzle is one of the highest rated point-of-sale companies on the market. It’s a worthy Klarna alternative. Marketing itself as a responsible solution to buy now, pay later, Sezzle offers its shoppers the opportunity to spread out payments for their purchases into 4 instalments over 6 weeks. Additionally, they can reschedule payments for free for a single time. In the case of late payments, the company charges a $10 fee for each failed instalment.

Sezzle Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
No hard credit check Lower payment limits for first-time buyers
Simple and transparent payment plans Have to contact merchants in order to qualify for a refund
No interest on purchases Fees for payments that were failed or rescheduled

Afterpay

Afterpay interface

Founded in 2015 with headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, Afterpay is best known as one of the leading “buy now, pay later” apps. With a whopping 8.3 million customers worldwide, and 6,500 merchants, the company is doing well in the marketplace, considering the large number of competitors. Concerns have been raised over the fact that companies like Afterpay create excessive risk for consumers by offering their services to all customers, regardless of their financial capabilities or circumstances. Boasting an attractive website with an easy-to-use, intuitive interface certainly helps attract new customers, and with a separate mobile application, you get all the functions of a native site, and the convenience of a mobile platform. When comparing Klarna vs Afterpay, the former seems like a more attractive option.

Afterpay Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Fast and easy approval process Substantial fees for late payments
Seamless integration with the retail stores Strict payment plan schedule
Multiple payment plans with interest-free terms Minimal credit checks pushing towards impulse spending

Laybuy

Laybuy interface

Headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand, and founded in 2017, Laybuy is yet another company on our list of apps like Klarna that has shown to be a reliable option for people looking to split their payments into multiple instalments. Retailers are both in-store and online, with the majority of the company’s partners being from the fashion industry. When making a purchase, the full price will be divided into 6 instalments over 5 weeks, with the first 1/6 of the payment being made at checkout. It should be noted that Laybuy focuses almost exclusively on New Zealand, and only accepts cards issued by New Zealand banks.

Laybuy Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Interest-free 6-week payment instalments Exclusive to a limited number of countries
No signup or establishment fees Further default fees in case of failure to pay the missed instalment
Easy to use and intuitive, online and instore accessible retailers Credit card checks during application, may affect credit score

Quadpay

Quadplay interface

With headquarters in New York, USA, and founded in 2017, Quadpay offers its customers the opportunity to split their purchases into 4 part interest-free instalments over 6 weeks. When paying with the Quadpay app, you must go through an approval process before completing a purchase, with each approval requiring a 25% initial payment and the other payments being paid over six weeks. With no APR and no hidden fees, customers can rely on transparent pricing to make their purchases on the platform.

Quadpay Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Easy approval process without a credit check No limitations to spending more than you can repay
Automatic charges for payment instalments Approval process before every payment
Minimal fees for staggered payment plans Will report late payments to the credit bureau

Splitit

Splitit interface

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in New York, USA, Splitit wants to differentiate itself from other apps like Klarna by offering a fresh, new take on instalment payment options. The alternative they offer is a service with no late fees, no interest rates, no long-winded application processes, and first and foremost – the best possible user experience. The number of instalments are entirely configurable, with up to 24 separate payments being a possibility for some of the more expensive items. Without a doubt, Splitit is one of the best apps like Klarna.

Splitit Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Doesn’t charge interest for payments made on time Limited payment options available
No fees even for late payments Partners with a limited amount of retail traders
No application process, no credit check Only accepts Visa and Mastercard, with some retailers not accepting debit cards

ViaBill

ViaBill interface

With headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, and founded way back in 2009, ViaBill offers customers easy monthly payments with 0% interest. One the company’s main focuses is developing business partnerships with small businesses by integrating their platform into the website’s checkout flow, stimulating higher conversions, increased revenue, and an overall better shopping experience. Requiring a short application process to get approved for shopping, you can then pay for your purchases over time in four separate interest-free instalments, with the first one being paid at the checkout. The ViaBill dashboard will help you keep track of and manage your finances and all purchases, tracking payments at every step of the way. A great European contender in this list of apps like Klarna.

ViaBill Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Cheap fees and easy to implement with businesses Limited communication and merchant support
No prepayment fees when making purchases Possible issues with support for international customers
Settlements are easy to manage Complicated refund policy and process

GoCardless

GoCardless interface

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in London, UK, GoCardless is a big player with more than 55,000 businesses partnering with the company. The focus is on creating payment gateways and integrating the platform into online shops of small and major businesses alike, offering both parties a number of benefits. The company claims to process over $15 billion of payments each year. The platform handles automatic payment collection on due dates, offers customers a simple payment process setup, transparency in all operations, efficient checkouts and fund security in case of any errors during the payment procedures. A strong competitor in this list of apps like Klarna.

GoCardless Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Low pricing for everyone Lack of a virtual terminal makes it difficult to make immediate payments
Developer friendly, easy to implement Limited customer service, with delays
Instant setup, simple dashboard for managing payments Time-consuming purchases, complex process for registering debit cards

J2store

J2store interface

Headquartered in Coimbatore, India, and founded in 2012, J2store is one of Asia’s prime point-of-sale businesses, offering very flexible payment plans depending on the buyer’s preferences. With integration of more than 70 payment gateways and numerous shipping plugins, J2store is one of the best partners on the market for growing a business and helping them reach a wider customer base. Some of the built-in features include discount codes and coupons, SEO optimization for businesses, vouchers, customer group pricing, multi-currency and language support, one-page customer checkouts, mobile optimization, and free shipping support.

J2store Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Easy to setup and implement Complex platform operating system
Powerful and versatile features Poor optimization for certain Windows and Blackberry OS’s
Multiple plugin support for improved store functionality Limited payment gateways for certain countries

Sunbit

Sunbit interface

With headquarters in Los Angeles, USA, and founded in 2015, Sunbit aims to provide the best possible experience for retailers and customers by offering an easy application process and a multitude of exclusive deals. One of the many apps like Klarna, Sunbit allows buyers to split their purchases into multiple payments, extending buying power for people that cannot afford to pay the full sum in a single instalment. Sunbit technology enables merchants to provide access to fast, fair, and easy financing across the credit spectrum. While you have to be approved, approval rates are among the highest in the industry. It should be noted that both due and good standing payments are reported to the credit bureau.

Sunbit Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Access to exclusive deals and promotions 6 – 12 month payment plans have high interest
Constantly adding new partnerships and changes to be more effective All payments are reported to the credit bureau
No hard credit check, easy application process Some functions are limited depending on your creditworthiness

Four

Four interface

Founded in 2018 and headquartered in North Miami Beach, USA, Four is a flexible payment platform that aims to drive conversions, sales, and loyalty for retailers by offering buyers the opportunity to split their purchase into 4 equal interest-free payments. With no credit score impact and no credit checks, an intuitive shopper portal, and a wide variety of payment methods, Four is a serious competitor in this list of apps like Klarna. The application process is practically instantaneous, and the checkout process has been optimized to avoid unnecessary credit checks and form fill-outs.

Four Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Easy approval process and setup Issues with customer service, buggy application in beta
Intuitive interface and ease of use Charges fees for late payments
Financing options without any interest rate Complicated refund policy and process

FuturePay

Futurepay interface

Headquartered in Lehi, USA, and founded in 2013, FuturePay is a payment processing service bringing ease and simplicity of use to buyers and businesses alike. With some innovative solutions helping businesses not only manage payments, but expand as well, FuturePay brings a lot of functionality and security to the table, paying businesses the full costs of the items being bought, while recovering the amount from the customer over multiple instalments. With mobile compatibility, intuitive design, simple checkout procedures and order processing, buyers can shop from any location, spread their payments over multiple months, and even make purchases without having money, as you can pay at a later time.

FuturePay Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Great customer support Lack of support for a number of OS
Easy setup process with no credit limitations No live support available
Mobile device compatibility & payment transparency The native application is slow, lots of bugs

Partial.ly

Partial interface

Founded in 2015 with headquarters in Tampa, Florida, USA, Partial.ly offers a platform for businesses to sell their products and services with custom, flexible payment plans. With free signup and no monthly fees, Partial.ly can connect with many popular ecommerce platforms, in addition to helping businesses streamline invoicing and improve cash flow. Available for businesses in 25 countries and supporting more than 135 global currencies, the platform is constantly growing, helping buyers spread out substantial payments over affordable and less financially straining instalments. Automated payments, custom payment plans, and convenient merchant portals all make Partial.ly a popular choice in this list of apps like Klarna.

Partial.ly Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Flexible payment plans with many adjustable factors 5% fee for all transactions
Control over fees and interest Lack of financial security and insurance infrastructure
Great customer support Limitations for international buyers

PayPal Credit

PayPal Credit interface

Formerly known as Bill Me Later and acquired in 2008 by PayPal, PayPal Credit allows people to make purchases online without using a credit card. You can shop anywhere where PayPal is accepted and get 6 months of financing on any purchase over $99. Since there are no restrictions on what you can use the money for, you have total freedom. All it takes to avoid the late payment fees is to return the borrowed sum within 6 months. The application process is quick and simple, both for businesses and customers, but what you do need is an existing PayPal account.

PayPal Credit Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Quick and easy to set up Full credit check required before being able to buy something, impacting credit score
First four months of the credit are interest-free 19.9% APR after four months
Very quick checkouts and automatic payments Limited functionality, can’t use in stores that don’t accept PayPal

Zebit

Zebit interface

Headquartered in California, USA, and founded in 2015, Zebit’s mission is to make online shopping inclusive to everyone, regardless of their financial history. This is achieved by selling brands customers love and offering the ability to pay over time without any hidden fees or penalties. The company uses simple and transparent language throughout, taking all the necessary steps to earn the trust of their customers. Zebit also offers an interest-free credit of up to $2,500. Any purchases will be split into instalments over a six month period with no additional fees or interest.

Zebit Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
No hidden fees Prices are higher than the competition
The application doesn’t impact your credit score No return or refund policy
Flexible and adjustable payment schedule Long shipping times and income requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the best buy now, pay later apps in 2021?

In no particular order, they are Klarna, Affirm, Zebit, Splitit, and Quadpay. All apps in this list are good in one way or another, depending on the buyer’s interests and the country they are shopping from. For a better picture, check out the full article.

What to choose: Affirm or Klarna?

Both apps are highly rated and have a history of being reliable service providers. In this case, it all comes down to personal preference with the shops they have. Nothing is stopping you from using both.

What are the differences between Klarna and Sezzle?

The biggest difference is the market share size, as Klarna ranks as the top #1 in a multitude of factors, while Sezzle lags behind in all metrics. Klarna has substantially more website coverage and product categories.

Is Afterpay better than Klarna?

In addition to Klarna being the market leader across the board, Klarna users aren’t restricted to a hard borrowing limit, whereas Afterpay users can only make a maximum purchase of $1,500. In most other aspects the apps are similar.

VITALY MAKHOV,
CEO @ DOIT SOFTWARE
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