M2P Fintech
Published in

M2P Fintech

Winning Business Models for BNPL Lenders

BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) has become the talk of the payments industry for a good reason. It gives shoppers the ultimate convenience of instant credit access, zero interest rates, and hassle-free repayment options. Irrespective of the demography, BNPL provides a level shopping field for consumers across credit scores and purchase ability. It triggers consumer buying behavior by reducing the cost of purchase at the point of sale.

Merchants and lenders gain significant competitive advantages when they deploy BNPL solutions. This inclusive consumer financing instrument helps merchants increase conversions, customer acquisitions, Average Order Value (AOV), and customer retention. Lenders benefit from optimal utilization of credit lines and the ability to build a scalable credit funnel while increasing revenue.

Thriving Business Models

The rise of consumer demand in the BNPL market has led lenders to rethink business models on a case-to-case basis. However, some of them are quite consistent in delivering profitability across lender profiles. Let’s check out the thriving business models that lenders use to drive the BNPL narrative forward.

Card-based BNPL model

Also known as post-purchase BNPL, the card-based BNPL allows lenders to offer no-cost EMIs to existing debit or credit cardholders after they purchase on merchant platforms. Banks, NBFCs, and fintechs can issue virtual cards for small-ticket purchases to consumers, which is acceptable with almost every merchant accepting card payments. Falling under the open network category, this model doesn’t require any prior agreement with merchants and lenders.

Core considerations

  • Only suited for banks that own a significant number of cards issued to their consumers.
  • This post-purchase BNPL solution doesn’t serve the purpose of increasing purchases and revenue for merchants.
  • Could cannibalize the bank’s credit card revenue when consumers with debit cards start deferring payments through post-purchase BNPL.
  • Doesn’t target new bank users, as it extends no-cost EMIs to existing cardholders.

Multi-lender platform model

In this model, lenders can use BNPL payment options across merchants for their underwriting and risk management strategies. When consumers apply for instant credit for buying products or services across the merchant platform, the information is passed onto the cohort of lenders who access consumer risk profiles and choose to provide credit.

For instance, if lender A declines the consumer, the same consumer profile is accessed by lender B and so on until that consumer is approved for credit. This model is the most consumer-friendly option as there is a high chance that one or more lenders will approve the credit. Examples of these providers include GreenSky, Divido, ChargeAfter, and Vyze, serving merchants like Abes of Maine, Wayfair, and Home Depot.

Core caveats

  • Pits lenders against each other. Hence there is increased competition to issue credit and make profits.
  • Lenders won’t get control of the buyer journey and purchase behavior as the BNPL platform provider and merchant control the consumer data.
  • As multiple lenders are involved in the process, their brand recognition suffers.
  • The recollections and repayments cycle is managed by the BNPL platform provider, which makes them the primary point of contact for shoppers.

Embedded Checkout Model

Embedding BNPL in the checkout page enables instant credit to consumers across merchant platforms. It also helps with personalization and consumer lifecycle management. In this model, lenders provide capital and underwriting facility to fund the embedded pay later option at the merchant’s checkout. The lenders enjoy an exclusive partnership with the merchant and can analyze shopper data to strengthen their decisions. They can tie up with a technology stack provider or build their own platform for issuing credit. One such example is the Amazon Pay Later backed by Capital Float and IDFC First Bank.

Points to Ponder

  • Lenders won’t enjoy brand recognition in this model as the merchant controls the entire customer journey.
  • Lenders need to align with merchants and tech stack providers to manage the risk and changes in the business strategy vis-à-vis rewards, promotion campaigns, etc.

Self-enabled BNPL model

Using this model, lenders can start their own BNPL platform and control the complete consumer loan cycle right from loan origination to credit line issuance, transaction management, repayment, and collection. This will provide them with the opportunity to integrate the Pay Later checkout option with preferred merchants. They can also have a dedicated interface to assist consumers with the entire BNPL lifecycle like transactions management, credit limit utilization, repayments, etc., through a dedicated application or by integrating this interface with the existing consumer application. Lenders can offer preferred customers with extended EMIs and rewards programs. Examples of this model include M2P’s BNPL stack for launching pay later programs for lenders.

Key Benefits

  • Lenders have the option to manage the entire loan lifecycle and customize the platform for each consumer segment present across the merchant platform.
  • Based on the target consumer base and average ticket size, lenders can decide on the merchants they want to onboard on their platform.
  • Lenders get the option to own the complete consumer buying journey and increase brand recognition.
  • As the BNPL solution caters to people with low credit scores, making timely repayments gives lenders insights into further lending opportunities and builds consumer credit scores.

M2P enables banks, NBFCs, and fintechs to launch BNPL programs by leveraging its multi-module expertise and capability to manage onboarding, credit line issuance, lender management, collection, reporting, and reconciliation. Our full-stack Lender Management System helps lenders manage entire loan lifecycles across different merchants and platforms. Multiple use cases can be built as per the value chain requirements such as credit limit criteria, KYC, and multi-channel distribution such as physical/virtual card, UPI, wallets, NFC, and direct integrations with merchants, repayment options, and rewards/cashback, among many other data points. We help lenders go to market with one-click BNPL checkouts, card issuance, and seamless integrations at a 5x faster pace.

Want to deploy the best BNPL solutions? Write to us at business@m2pfintech.com and let’s get started.

Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest fintech news, views, and insights, directly to your inbox.

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for insightful fintech tales curated for curious minds like you.



We help every business become a fintech. Providing a highly scalable, secure, nimble tech stack at the intersection of Mobility, Commerce, and Payments, we are the trusted partner of 500+ banks, fintechs, and businesses around the world.

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