每日英語跟讀 Ep.K448: What to know about ‘buy now, pay later’
Since the start of the pandemic, the option to “buy now, pay later’” has skyrocketed in popularity, especially among young and low-income consumers who may not have ready access to traditional credit. If you shop online for clothes or furniture, sneakers or concert tickets, you’ve seen the option at checkout to break the cost into smaller installments over time. Companies like Afterpay, Affirm, Klarna, and Paypal all offer the service, with Apple due to enter the market later this year.
But with economic instability rising, so are delinquencies. Here is what you should know:
HOW DOES BUY NOW, PAY LATER WORK? 「先買後付」如何運作？
Branded as “interest-free loans,” buy now, pay later services require you to download an app, link a bank account or debit or credit card, and sign up to pay in weekly or monthly installments. Scheduled payments are then automatically deducted from your account or charged to your card. The services generally don’t charge you more than you would have paid up front, meaning there’s technically no interest, so long as you make the payments on time.
But if you pay late, you may be subject to a flat fee or a fee calculated as a percentage of the total you owe. If you miss multiple payments, you may be shut out from using the service in the future, and the delinquency could hurt your credit score.
ARE MY PURCHASES PROTECTED? 我的購買有保障嗎？
In the US, buy now, pay later services are not currently covered by the Truth in Lending Act, which regulates credit cards and other types of loans (those paid back in more than four installments).
That means you could find it more difficult to settle disputes with merchants, return items, or get your money back in cases of fraud. Companies can offer protections, but they don’t have to.
WHY DO RETAILERS OFFER BUY NOW, PAY LATER? 零售商為何提供「先買後付」？
Retailers accept the backend fees of buy now, pay later services because the products increase cart sizes. When shoppers are given the option to pay off purchases in installments, they’re more likely to buy more goods in one go.
WHO SHOULD USE BUY NOW, PAY LATER? 誰該使用「先買後付」？
If you have the ability to make all payments on time, buy now, pay later loans are a relatively healthy, interest-free form of consumer credit.
But if you’re looking to build your credit score, and you’re able to make payments on time, a credit card is a better choice. The same goes if you want strong legal protections from fraud, and clear, centralized reporting of loans.
If you’re uncertain whether you’ll be able to make payments on time, consider whether the fees charged by buy now, pay later companies will add up to higher charges than the penalties and interest a credit card company or other lender would charge.
如果您不確定是否能按時付款，請考慮先買後付公司所收取的費用是否會比信用卡公司或其他貸方收取的罰款和利息加起來更高。Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2022/09/20/2003785582