We're launching our You Only Pay Once (#YOPO) campaign to tackle Buy Now Pay Later schemes and promote the positive mindset that comes with only paying once. We want to help consumers feel empowered to make more informed decisions about what's being described as ‘gateway debt’…

Let's get straight to the facts...

What is Buy Now Pay Later?

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) schemes are becoming a popular form of payment online. Rather than pay the upfront cost for an online purchase, you can choose to spread the cost over a few weeks/months or delay the full payment until a later date. With the help of social media, brands and influencers are encouraging increasing usage of providers like Klarna, Clearpay, Laybuy and Afterpay.​

How does Buy Now Pay Later have an impact?

  • Encouraging unnecessary spending: our research found that 33% of consumers tackle boredom with purchases they cannot afford through these providers
  • A form of ‘gateway’ debt: a massive 81% are concerned their online spending could lead to long-term debt in the near future
  • Long-term effects on mental health: 62% said being in debt negatively affects their mental health
  • Under the influence: 21% were tempted into it by social media advertising and reality TV influencers, with women being the primary target audience

*Source: Buy Now Pay Later, OpenMoney and LM research. Total sample size was 2,000 UK adults.

Our research found...

*Source: Buy Now Pay Later, OpenMoney and LM research. Total sample size was 2,000 UK adults.

How does this feel in the real world?

Source: Social media listening from October 2019 - Oct 2020 - covering 70k posts by 36k unique authors.

What is our #YOPO campaign?

Encourage the #YOPO mindset

We’re launching our #YOPO campaign to encourage online shoppers to ‘only pay once’ by only buying items they can afford to pay for upfront.

We know that waiting a little longer for something you want isn’t quite as exciting, but the peace of mind that comes with only paying once isn’t something to be sniffed at. Our research learned that 46% of shoppers would feel less anxious if they only bought things they could afford.

Tackling the source of the problem

We know that there’s more that needs to be done than just changing shoppers mindsets, we want to tackle the source. There is not enough protection and clarity for consumers surrounding these providers.

We’re urging the regulator and the government to increase consumer protection and regulation around these services and bring forward the ‘Breathing Space’ initiative due to be implemented in 2021.

Why now?

The call to #RegulateBuyNowPayLater has been ringing since earlier this year and we’re joining the fight and launching our #YOPO campaign to support these voices. We feel this is of particular importance now because:  

  • COVID has had a big impact on consumers financial situations - our research has shown that 74% of people had either lost their job, been furloughed or taken a pay cut.
  • The people disproportionality impacted by furlough and redundancy are women (8% of women made redundant vs 4% of men) and we worry that these BNPL services target women through advertising.
  • Christmas is just around the corner, a time when many consumers feel the pressure to spend and can get into debt because of it - 74% of people we spoke to say they felt under pressure to buy more or as many gifts as normal this Christmas because it had been such a tough year.

Alice Tapper, launched the #RegulateBuyNowPayLater campaign in June. She is joining OpenMoney in the bid to raise awareness. She added:

Alice Tapper, Founder of

"It's easy to think of Buy Now Pay Later schemes as a harmless way of spreading your costs out over time, but the hidden dangers aren't often spoken about.

Unlike other credit products, many buy now pay later schemes are unregulated. I've been campaigning for this to change. Without urgent intervention, there's a real risk than young and vulnerable consumers will end up in a debt spiral. We hope to help educate people on the potential risks and the various ways they can spend safely."

How do we move forward?


Raise awareness

Both among consumers and brands, we want to raise awareness of the potential dangers of BNPL schemes, encourage the #YOPO mindset and give you the power and knowledge to protect yourself.


Strengthen consumer credit law

We’ve reach out to MPs to gain support for strengthening consumer credit law and aligning the law with regulation.


Bring forward ‘Breathing Space’ 

We urge the government to bring forward this initiative, due to be implemented in 2021, which will freeze interest, fees and enforcement for 60 days allowing people in problem debt to receive professional advice.