Buy Now Pay Later Publishers Transform Online Payment Models

May 26, 2020
Written by Ryan Burkley

A new publisher model is increasing consumers’ likelihood to purchase and in turn is transforming payment options.

Fintech companies that specialize in letting customers pay in installments at the point of purchase—often with no interest—are emerging as a new publisher model in affiliate, aptly known as “Buy Now Pay Later” publishers. These payment installment publishers have been popular for years in international markets such as Europe, Australia, and LATAM, and now they’re beginning to gain traction in the US and Canada. The rising popularity of these services has been most noticeable with younger shoppers (think millennial or Gen Z) who tend to use debit cards over credit. Current market conditions are driving interest in inexpensive credit options for consumers, so timing is perfect for this opportunity to flourish in affiliate.

Buy Now Pay Later Publishers Thrive in Affiliate

These very well-funded fintech companies are making a splash in the affiliate space with tremendous opportunities. Buy Now Pay Later publishers are exploring product-specific promotions, creating curated shopping content articles, and personalized shopping experiences. Affirm is one of a few publishers that have recently launched in the CJ Affiliate network—and they have seen great success. In 2020, to date they have already increased sales revenue through the network by 260% YOY.

“Being in the affiliate space has enabled us to amplify the value of Affirm installments not only as a better payment option but also as a unique and powerful performance marketing tool,” says Amar Shah, Senior Director of Consumer Business at Affirm. “And most importantly, our consumers have loved the breadth of merchants and offers we've featured in our app thanks to our strong advertiser partnerships. Since we launched in 2017, CJ has been an instrumental part of our growth story. They showed us the ropes, shared best practices, and have fostered many of our strongest relationships in the space.”

Additional Buy Now Pay Later publishers in the CJ network include Zip (formerly QuadPay), PayBright, and Sezzle, among several others. Based in Toronto, PayBright is the leading installment payment provider in the Canadian market. “We know that Canadian consumers are looking for flexible payment options during these difficult economic times,” says Wayne Pommen, President and CEO of PayBright. “Offering easy, transparent payment plans at checkout is a win-win: customers appreciate the financial flexibility, and merchants see increased traffic, conversion, and average order values.” It's because of these sound benefits that Buy Now Pay Later publishers have garnered attention from both advertisers and consumers.

Benefits to Advertisers

Buy Now Pay Later publishers have millions of existing users that advertisers can tap immediately. Through point-of-purchase integrations and branded shopping portals, these publishers have actively built up their own brands and member bases. As a result, partnerships with these types of publishers can yield immediate reach and engagement with a massive number of shoppers.

The Buy Now Pay Later option attract shoppers who might not purchase otherwise. The installment payment model has been readily adopted by shoppers consciously choosing not to engage with traditional credit products. For example, only one in three millennials has a credit card, according to and the US Federal Reserve reports 18 to 24-year-olds preferred to pay cash and leverage pre-paid debit cards more than other age groups. To meet these shoppers’ needs Zip (formerly QuadPay) offers shoppers virtual credit cards and payment via mobile app for in-store purchasing too.

Additionally, during times of economic uncertainty, such as the current period brought on by COVID-19, these Buy Now Pay Later publishers are even more attractive to consumers who may be clinging tighter to their purse strings. This less risky payment option allows advertisers the ability to reach consumers who otherwise wouldn’t consider spending.

Shoppers are purchasing high-ticket items without discounts. Brands selling high-end products have found that pay-over-time options at checkout drive increased conversions and more sales by lowering the barriers to purchase. Younger shoppers, particularly, are attracted to brands that offer multiple payment options and the ability to pay using flexible payment plans. For shoppers, this is very appealing when making a large purchase that is either a necessity or a splurge. CJ network data supports this finding with Buy Now Pay Later publishers driving high AOVs—upwards of $375—and offering up to 60% increase in NTF customers.

Benefits to Shoppers

Buy Now Pay Later purchases help many shoppers build their credit history. Shoppers who haven’t yet engaged with traditional credit products are embracing Buy Now Pay Later as a way to leverage credit in a structured manner. Consumers perceive that Buy Now Pay Later plans and fees are transparent and clearly outlined. According to Affirm, “In contrast to traditional FICO scores, which haven’t changed in decades, we look beyond those scores to other sources of data like cash flow patterns and repayment history to determine a customer’s creditworthiness. This enables us to extend credit to a much broader group of deserving customers.”

Today’s young shoppers are pessimistic towards traditional credit models—Buy Now Pay Later addresses that. According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey, based on the views of 13,400 millennials across 42 countries, millennials are concerned about unemployment, business corruption, and political instability. Consequently, they've become active users of disruptive technologies and supportive of emerging brands. These shoppers are more likely to convert with brands that offer Buy Now Pay Later options.


If you're a brand looking to grow new customers and increase your ROAS, consider adding Buy Now Pay Later partners into your publisher mix. Reach out to your CJ account team or search for these publishers in the CJ Account Manager for more information.

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