Understanding the Psychological Determinants of Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) in the UK: A User Perspective

Relja, Ruffin ORCID: 0000-0001-9569-6247, Ward, Philippa ORCID: 0000-0002-4971-8908 and Zhao, Anita Lifen ORCID: 0000-0003-2957-8300 (2024) Understanding the Psychological Determinants of Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) in the UK: A User Perspective. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 42 (1). pp. 7-37. doi:10.1108/IJBM-07-2022-0324

12463 Relja, Ward, Zhao (2023) Understanding the psychological determinants of buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) in the UK - a user perspective.PDF - Accepted Version
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Purpose: This study explores the psychological determinants of buy-now-pay-later use in the UK and reviews the efficacy of existing payment constructs. Design/methodology/approach: 533 BNPL users engaged in story stem completion. Template analysis was used, supported by the identification of four BNPL sentiment groups to enable comparison. Findings: Whilst positive attitudes towards BNPL dominate, other psychological determinants are apparent to a varied extent. Psychological distance and ownership of borrowed money are redolent, transparency and transaction convenience are less appreciable. BNPL users understand temporality beyond its current conceptualizations. Some users construe BNPL as a ‘savings’ product, hence payment format conceptualizations may be erroneous. Those with a positive sentiment foreground BNPL’s consumption and budget management benefits. However, the potential for unintended consequences are manifest across all users. Research implications: The potentially unwanted consequences, or dark side, of BNPL use in the UK are highlighted. The specified constructs, whilst helpful, do not particularize the complex interconnected nature of the psychological determinants of BNPL use. Improved conceptualization offering richness and clarity is needed – temporality specifically requires consideration. Practical implications: Users’ sophistication and misunderstanding are both evident, necessitating fuller conversations among various stakeholders – including, providers, policymakers, consumers, and advocacy groups.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: BNPL use; Psychological determinants; Story-stem completion; Sentiment analysis
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5428 Retail Trade
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business & Technology
Depositing User: Philippa Ward
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2023 16:22
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2024 15:30
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/12463

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