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NatWest ‘Plans’ to Shut Down BNPL Offering; Why Are So Many Firms Taking a Step Back From BNPL?


March 12, 2024 | Cassidy Belville

Around 2020, buy now, pay later (BNPL) solutions exploded in popularity, as an increasing number of shoppers across the globe turned to online shopping during a pandemic that caused a significant amount of financial uncertainty.

However, since then, many BNPL firms and providers have crashed back down to reality; with the likes of Openpay, the Australia-based BNPL operator, halting operations for good and Klarna, the now self-proclaimed AI-powered payments network and shopping assistant (famous for its BNPL services), seeing an 85 per cent downturn in its valuation between June 2021 and July 2022.

Now, reports suggest that NatWest is planning to shut down its BNPL offering for good, less than two years after its launch. After suggestions that the decision was made due to less-than-expected adoption of the service, it appears that even the biggest UK banks are struggling to make headway in the space.

The Fintech Times tapped industry experts, including our own Frode Berg, Managing Director, EMEA, to discuss the factors forcing so many BNPL providers to close their doors or take steps away from the space.

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