There may be frequent calls to regulate buy now, pay later (BNPL) services with concerns about their fast expansion, but they continue to grow with retailers across the price scale embracing them.


The latest to add BNPL is Matches, with the London-based luxury seller linking up with Clearpay. Matches now offers online customers a pay-in-4 payment option.

Matches CEO Nick Beighton said the company wants to offer flexibility to its customers so they can “make the payment decision best suited to their lifestyle”.

And Clearpay’s UK Country Manager Rich Bayer added that the company has “a successful track record in supporting our retail partners to attract new customers and convert sales”.

Much of the press reporting of the BNPL sector has been around low-income consumers getting themselves into debt, but globally, over the 12 months ended December 2022, Clearpay said 95% of instalments were paid on time and 98% of purchases incurred no late fees. 

It’s also clear that the payment option is one that’s being used at all ends of the market. And the ability to turn, say, an upfront £1,000 payment for luxury fashion into a £250-a-month option is likely to be increasingly attractive to high-end shoppers who are facing their own cash crunch.

With luxury e-tailers facing the same kind of challenges being seen at all ends of the market, BNPL options could therefore be game-changers.

Meanwhile, in addition to announcing the Matches deal, Clearpay said its latest data “shows fashion-forward shoppers are already buying into the hottest seasonal trends with a 143% increase in sales of boxy jackets, 59% increase in trench coats and 28% increase in knee-high boots”.

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