BOSTON (CBS) – It’s a common problem for shoppers, particularly younger ones. “[I] always see things that I can’t afford but I really want,” one millennial shopper told us on Harvard Ave in Allston.
Traditionally, the answer to that dilemma has been to charge it, but many young people are shying away from credit. “I just like to pay it up front and get it over with, you know, rip off the Band-Aid,” another shopper strolling Newbury Street said.
That’s why Nick Molnar created Afterpay. It’s a service offered at the online checkout page at several retailers including, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and Revolve. It allows customers to pay over time with no interest.
Instead of paying $100 for a pair of shoes, the customer would pay $25 up front and the shoes would immediately ship. Then Afterpay automatically charges three installments of $25 every two weeks.
“I think if I really wanted something, maybe I would do that, if it’s a special occasion,” a shopper told us outside Urban Outfitters in Allston.
Afterpay is fairly new in the US, only launching a few months ago. But it’s used by thousands of retailers in Molnar’s native Australia. “Afterpay is now a verb in Australia, so people say, ‘I Afterpayed it,’” he said.
Afterpay makes money by charging the retailer a fee for each purchase. But consumers do have to be sure they have money to cover those automatic payments every two weeks, because the company does charge some steep late fees.