Buy Now, Pay Later - Groceries?

The Lempert Report
September 29, 2022

Phil: I'm upset about the B N P L movement. The Buy Now, Pay Later and probably, you know, whenever we see a phrase turn into an acronym like, you know, B N P L, it scares the hell outta me. Number one, what we're seeing is a lot of personal desperation, according to a Harvard researcher, as it relates to this, and Sally was able to look up what some of the interest rates are on this. So karma, the company karma, the standard interest rate is 19.99%. Now this is on groceries. That's 20% higher than you would be paying normally. So we're shopping around for 25 cent coupons deals. We're worried about inflation, but we're willing to pay 19.99%. Affirm you can borrow anywhere from $50 to $17,500, no interest. If you pay it off in four months after that, the interest rate goes up to 30%. 

Phil: This is the mafia. Bottom line is these are the rates that the mafia used to used to charge, you know, companies to borrow money. So we've got Klarna, zip, zilch, Affirm, After Pay. You know, if you wanna save money on groceries, if you want your customers to save money on groceries, tell 'em to reduce waste. 40% of all of our food is wasted. That's 40% of all the dollars we spend. Tell 'em to take inventory of their cupboards of their refrigerators before they go shopping. Zip has noticed a 95% growth in US grocery purchases as reported by the New York times. Klarna reports that more than half of the top 100 items that their users are buying are grocery or household items. The growth according to Luxe is driven primarily by younger consumers. Two thirds of the B N P L borrowers are considered subprime. You know, we talk about the housing disaster of a decade ago where everybody were getting these subprime mortgages and all of a sudden we had a bust. We're gonna see the same thing in grocery where people are paying these exorbitant amounts to Buy Now Pay Later, this falls under Tony. We need a graphic for the stupidest idea ever as well. I mean, Sally, this is just wrong. We're leading people down a path of debt when it comes to their food. 

Sally: Yes, it is very predatory. And it's very easy. If you've been shopping online, you oftentimes will see these options. When you go to check out, it will be an Affirm button or Klarna button. It's very easy to get approved and people are desperate and so they're going to use it. And then they're going to find themselves in a few months with debt that they cannot pay. 

Phil:  Yeah. And the debt collectors of old would come in, they would break your, you know, hands, knuckles, legs, whatever else. Now they're just gonna take away your house, so we have to get smarter as it relates to money as it relates to shopping.