Revolut begins European roll-out of ‘buy now, pay later’ product

Users will be able to spread the cost of purchases up to a value of €499 across three instalments

Revolut will begin the phased European roll-out of a ‘buy now, pay later’ product on Friday which will allow its customers to spread the cost of purchases over a number of instalments.

Dubbed Pay Later, the feature will be available “for early access” to a handful of its Irish customers from this week, the fintech said in a statement. Revolut will assess each customer’s bank account individually and give them a “bespoke” credit limit based on their means and suitability.

With their Revolut cards, users will then be able to spread the cost of purchases up to a value of €499 across three instalments.

The first payment is made upfront at the time of purchase, the company said, followed by two instalments over the following two months. Revolut will charge users 1.65 per cent fee per purchase, which will then be repaid as part of the final two instalments.


Fully integrated within the Revolut app, the company said, approved customers will be able to check their balance on their phones and activate the feature “with one tap”.

“Customers can use Pay Later at any merchant that accepts Revolut online or in store,” the company said. “Unlike other pay later products, merchants do not sign up to Revolut Pay Later, and Revolut does not charge them for Pay Later transactions.”

Commenting on the initial roll-out, Revolut Europe chief executive Joe Heneghan said buy now, pay later products are a “fast-growing area of personal finance and consumer spending”.

“Revolut Pay Later gives our customers more control and flexibility over their personal finances, in a responsible way, by enabling them to spread the cost of purchases over three instalments,” he said. “This encourages people to pay within two months, rather than calling on overdrafts and credit cards which don’t carry the same emphasis on quickly paying back the amount borrowed.”

The company, which started off as a money-transfer service, has made no secret of its desire to enter the buy now, pay later market. Last year, Revolut chief executive and founder Nikolay Storonsky said if he could buy any company for any price, “maybe I would buy Klarna. It’s a great business.”

Popular with young consumers, Swedish app Klarna, which last year secured a €38.9 billion valuation, is one of a handful of companies to break into the space in recent years. The market has grown dramatically since the start of the pandemic, much to the dismay of regulators, which are wary about the prospect of young shoppers being offered cheap credit.

In May the Government introduced new laws bringing buy now, pay later finance providers under the regulatory supervision of the Central Bank of Ireland. All providers of buy now, pay later and other forms of indirect credit, such as hire purchase agreements, are now required to seek authorisation from the regulator as a retail credit firm or as a credit servicing firm.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times