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Published on 16/10/2023

Payment in instalments1 | Europe’s new consumer phenomenon

What payment habits will consumers adopt in the future? The 2nd edition of the Kantar — FLOA barometer reveals an underlying trend: the rise of payments in 3 or 4 instalments. As inflation puts pressure on household purchasing power, these payment solutions have emerged as a new financing option in a market which increasingly prioritises more sustainable and premium goods. 


The result? Nearly half of all Europeans have used Buy Now Pay Later solutions. These flexible, simple solutions make purchasing easier. FLOA will guide you through the results of this study examining the preeminent Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solution. 

Payment in instalments Payment in instalments

Payment in 3 or 4 instalments: new financing solution

The FLOA-Kantar study shows that more and more consumers are opting for payment in 3 or 4 instalments and deferred payment. Today, these solutions are used by 43% of Europeans, representing an increase of 8 points compared to the 2021 study which put this rate at 35%.

Payment preferences according to country

The study also reveals notable disparities in payment habits across Europe:

  • In France, Spain, and Portugal, payment in 3 or 4 instalments is particularly popular, with nearly one-third of individuals (32%) using it regularly.

  • In Germany and Austria, consumers prefer deferred payment, with over half (59.5%) regularly using this method. These countries have surpassed Belgium and Portugal, which were among the largest users of deferred payment in 2021.

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) 

In the face of rising inflation, 44% of the surveyed Europeans are considering using payment in 3 or 4 instalments to help manage their budget. This trend is particularly pronounced in France (55%), Spain (58%), and Italy (62%).

Buy Now Pay Later solutions, including payment in instalments1, are becoming go-to options for dealing with unforeseen expenses, such as the purchase of household appliances (39%) or home-related expenses (31%). They also provide a means of “treating oneself” to high-tech products (38%) or travel (35%).

While this FLOA-Kantar study shows disparities in usage among countries, it also demonstrates that Europeans are embracing these payment solutions, which, in turn, are meeting increasingly specific expectations.

New financing solution

The challenge for merchants: integrating BNPL2 into the buying journey

The growing popularity of BNPL2 in consumer preferences

Consumers have indeed adopted the habit of deferring payments, to the extent that it has become a selling point for some merchants. And it's not surprising when you take a closer look at the numbers. In fact, nearly a third (30%) of Europeans say that payment methods are a factor in their choice of a retailer. That's almost as significant as the retailer's reputation (32%)!

In France, 7 out of 10 users would be willing to switch to a different retailer to take advantage of a payment in 3 or 4 instalments or deferred payment.

Navigating the customer experience challenge

These results underscore the importance for retailers to offer multi-instalment payment solutions that seamlessly integrate into the shopping experience, whether it's online or in physical stores. Nearly half of Europeans view the absence of these options as a barrier to purchasing.

In the increasingly digitised world of commerce, user experience is a key success factor. It is, therefore, crucial to understand what can hinder the buying process. The study highlights an important aspect of this issue: for 60% of Europeans, the requirement to download a mobile application to complete a purchase is seen as a barrier. These numbers provide insights into the necessary developments towards a hassle-free shopping experience.

The challenge for merchants

The rising popularity of payment in instalments in Europe

"As it continues to expand in Europe, and despite disparities in usage from one country to another, this study reveals increasingly specific and high expectations regarding payment solutions. In the current economic context—marked by household budget constraints and the growth of omnichannel shopping habits—personalisation, flexibility, and the ease of use of FLOA solutions are valuable assets for consumer service,"

, confirms Marc Lanvin, Deputy CEO of FLOA.

Europeans are increasingly taking payment options into account when choosing a retailer. Don't let your company's customer experience be a barrier to purchase. Turn to FLOA to benefit from flexible, personalised payment solutions tailored to current consumer trends.


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