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Friend or foe? How buy-now-pay-later is seeking to change traditional consumer-retailer relationships in the UK

Ruffin Relja Orcid Logo, Anita Zhao Orcid Logo, Philippa Ward Orcid Logo

The Future of Consumption, Volume: Chapter 5, Pages: 95 - 119

Swansea University Author: Anita Zhao Orcid Logo

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Abstract

The provision of “buy-now-pay-later” (BNPL) is changing relationships between consumers, credit providers, and retailers. This chapter develops a fine-grained understanding of the symbiotic dealings between these parties and discusses how their bonds may evolve given the intrinsic benefits and risks...

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Published in: The Future of Consumption
ISBN: 978-3-031-33245-6 978-3-031-33246-3
Published: Cham Palgrave Macmillan 2023
Online Access: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33246-3_6
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa63178
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Abstract: The provision of “buy-now-pay-later” (BNPL) is changing relationships between consumers, credit providers, and retailers. This chapter develops a fine-grained understanding of the symbiotic dealings between these parties and discusses how their bonds may evolve given the intrinsic benefits and risks at play. In that respect, it is the nature of the functional and relational attributes that specific actors liberate through BNPL that frame their individual ‘wellbeing’ in this coopetitive ecosystem. The chapter also unmasks the range of potentially positive and negative outcomes amid the evolving associations. The individual outturns are inherently unequal, and there is considerable variance for actors – although the retailer consistently appears to be the weak, if not sometimes the weakest, partner. The research additionally highlights that BNPL providers’ efforts to create a consumption ecosystem that disrupts contemporary patterns have been fairly effective, as BNPL providers are consistently perceived as the strongest partner by UK consumers. The consumer appears to be the arbiter of which form of symbiosis is manifest and thus central to the ecosystem. It is clear that relationships will continue to shift, requiring flexible and active management between the network partners to ensure individual and collective survival and wellbeing – and ultimately determine the final nature of the BNPL ecosystem.
College: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Start Page: 95
End Page: 119