The Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) industry witnessed exponential growth during the Covid-19 pandemic, led by surge in digital payments. Since inflation and interest rates increased in June 2022, the BNPL-related social media discussions’ peak started to fade.

Against the backdrop, the social media share of voice (Twitter and Reddit) focused on BNPL revealed that Apple Pay topped the list in terms of the highest conversation volume with 19% share of voice among the top 10 most mentioned BNPL companies during the last 12 months (1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023), reveals the Social Media Analytics Platform of GlobalData, publishers of RBI.

The remaining top nine mentioned companies are Afterpay Touch Group with 18% share of voice, Klarna (17%) PayPal (16%), Affirm (10%), Mastercard (7%), Sezzle (5%), Mondu (3%), Openpay (3%), and Camden Town Technologies (2%)

Shreyasee Majumder, Social Media Analyst at GlobalData, said: “Influencer sentiment around BNPL saw 22% decline among social media discussions during the same period over the previous 12 months. Influencers opine that consumers were earlier inclined towards BNPL when rates of interest were at low levels and also because of its simplicity and ease of access to credit.

Reduced consumer spend and rising rates hits BNPL sector

“However, the combined effect of rising inflation and interest rates has had a detrimental effect on BNPL providers due to reduced consumer spending and rising repayment rates.”

Apple Pay dominated conversations around BNPL during the last one year and saw more than 130% growth over the previous 12 months. The discussions around Apple Pay spiked during the month of June 2022, after Apple Inc introduced a BNPL functionality incorporated within its Apple Pay service. Influencer conversations about the announcement turned out to be positive as a result of this logical extension of the company’s approach with regard to promoting Apple Pay usage.