The next time you shop online you may be able to hold off paying the entire purchase amount until a later date. That's because Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services are becoming more popular and Laybuy is one of the latest payment platform additions that launched in the UK.
Laybuy is a New Zealand-based company that lets you buy items from selected retailers and pay later, similar to Klarna and Clearpay. Like other platforms, you also make interest-free payments over a period of six weeks with some penalties for late payments.
We look at how Laybuy works and how it compares to similar platforms already available in the UK.
Gary Rohloff and Alex Rohloff, a father and son duo, launched Laybuy in 2017. Around 500,000 customers have signed up in the first 18 months, and the company has agreements with over 3,000 physical and online retailers, from clothing merchants to sellers of cricket bats.
The Rohloffs claim that the business puts a modern twist on the practice of "lay by," which involves customers paying for products in instalments but delaying delivery of the goods until all payments have been made. With Laybuy, customers immediately own the goods they purchased.
To sign up for a Laybuy account you have to be at least 18 years old and provide your contact details (name, address, mobile number) as well as your payment details (debit or credit card details).
You have the option of signing up for Laybuy either from their website or when you shop at one of its retail partners and select Laybuy as the payment option.
Before your account is verified and approved, Laybuy will conduct a credit check.
Once your account has been created, you’ll be given a credit limit based on your credit score. Then you’ll be able to use Laybuy to make shopping purchases through any of its approved retailers up to the specified limit.
Your first payment will be taken when you place your order and is 1/6 of the purchase price. You’ll be expected to pay the balance over five equal weekly instalments.
Some of the features of Laybuy include:
No fees. There are no upfront fees when using Laybuy.
Interest-free payments. You pay for your purchases in equal interest-free payments.
User-friendly app. The app is easy to use and you can also make payments.
Automatic payments. Laybuy will automatically take payments from your nominated account.
Orders shipped immediately. The retailer is paid upfront for your purchase so your goods are shipped immediately.
Early repayment. You can repay the purchase early if you want, with no penalties.
Only debit or credit cards loaded on your Laybuy account can be used to pay for orders. Prepaid cards or bank transfers are not accepted as payment for any account balances.
There are no annual fees for using Laybuy's platform. You shouldn't ever have to pay more than an item's original price tag as long as you make your payments on time, as the payment plan is interest-free.
You will be charged a £6 fee for late payment. After that, you have seven days to make up the missed payment before a further £6 late fee is added.
Each missed instalment payment could result in an overall fee of £12, with a cap of £24 per purchase
Laybuy can be used in thousands of stores throughout the UK, New Zealand, and Australia. You can use directories like PayLaterFinder to find retailers in the UK that use Laybuy.
Laybuy does a hard search on your credit profile so it will likely impact your credit, although the drop in your credit score should only be temporary.
As long as you make all payments on time, having a Laybuy account won’t affect your credit negatively. However, if you skip a payment and don't clear your debt immediately, your credit score may go down as a result.
Yes. Since all of Laybuy's transactions are secure and encrypted, you can shop with confidence at any of their major retailers. Before setting up your account and giving you a credit limit, Laybuy also reviews your credit history and confirms your personal information.
Laybuy will immediately notify you through email if a payment for an instalment fails. A £6 late fee is then charged if the payment is not received after being retried 24 hours later.
A further £6 cost, with a maximum of £24, will be assessed if this payment is not paid after another week. It's crucial that you contact Laybuy as soon as you can if you believe you might have trouble making your payments.
Laybuy won't let you make another purchase until all of your declined payments (instalments and late fees) are settled. If you still don't pay, Laybuy may make arrangements for a debt collection agency to collect the outstanding payments. Additionally, this can also lower your credit rating.
All three credit reference agencies (CRAs) have begun displaying BNPL information on credit reports in the spring of 2022. This means that missed payments can negatively influence your credit score.
The Buy Now Pay Later sector in the UK is seeing increased competition from companies like Laybuy. It allows you to spread out the payment for your purchase over a number of weeks, just like its more well-known rival, Clearpay, which is quite helpful if you're on a tight budget.
Because the payments are automatically taken from your account each week, you won't need to worry about remembering to make payments manually. When using Laybuy, you also pay no interest.
The main disadvantage is that every missed payment will result in late fees, which can harm your credit profile if you don't stay on top of payments. Additionally, since you must pay the first instalment for your items at the time of purchase, you cannot "test before you buy."