Cautionary tale-BNPL disrupts with faster, smarter, more personalized payment solutions | Maru Group

A young Asian woman unboxing headphones as she holds her cell phone.
The seamless experience of BNPL solutions has contributed to their exploding popularity.
A blue banner asking readers to get in touch if they want to futureproof their business.

Right time, right place

There is no doubt that the success of BNPL solutions is due in part to economic instability. As employment interruptions, income insecurity, and inflation rose in 2021, BNPL adoption increased exponentially. In 2021, Black Friday and Cyber Monday saw skyrocketing purchases in North America with the assistance of BNPL. BBC News reported in December that more than 17M U.K. residents had used the payment option. At Maru, we use our unique software platform to measure and analyze how consumers feel, behave, and think to help clients better understand their customers and deliver better outcomes. We conducted a poll the same month and found 62% of U.K. BNPL users have more than one agreement. Online service providers such as Afterpay/Clearpay, Klarna, and PayPal reported an acceleration in sign-up in 2021, with significant growth forecasted for 2022 in their markets (Europe, North America, South America, Australia, and New Zealand).

Deeply satisfying experience

The success of BNPL solutions is not wholly situational. BNPL providers create a digital payment ecosystem that integrates secure data aggregation, authentication management, and an ever-expanding closed loop. The loop continues to grow with retailers increasing volume of sales and average size of sale, without assuming risk. Equifax recently estimated that shoppers were likely to spend 51% more on online clothing with an installment option than paying outright. In 2020, PayPal found 28% of U.S. shoppers were more likely to shop at a merchant again if it offered a BNPL option, and 32% would make a purchase they would’ve otherwise postponed.

Futureproofing with emotion-based CX

Customers are judging all financial institutions and lenders on their ability to deliver a seamless experience. If the chasm grows between expectation and experience, then loyalty will diminish just as rapidly. As fintechs look for new revenue streams, the arms race for a deeper customer connection will continue. The integration of emotion-based metrics to support the personalization of customer experience at a sample size of one, will be the next frontier.

Ready to jumpstart your CX program?

Maru/ works behind the scenes with financial institutions and fintechs to drive deeper customer connections at scale. We work collaboratively to futureproof our clients’ businesses by leveraging our Feel, Behave, and then Think philosophy in conjunction with our leading insights software platform. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of our end-to-end CX solutions and innovative research approaches, please contact Maru today.



Maru helps its clients make informed decisions in real-time by combining proprietorial software, deep industry experience, and unique IP in system 1 apps.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Maru = Software + Advisory Services

Maru = Software + Advisory Services

Maru helps its clients make informed decisions in real-time by combining proprietorial software, deep industry experience, and unique IP in system 1 apps.