Is PayBright a good payment solution for you?
PayBright is one of Canada’s oldest buy now, pay later companies and was founded in 2009. In December 2020, though, PayBright was purchased by Affirm – one of the leading BNPL services in the US.
The partnership allowed PayBright to expand its network of merchants, making it a more viable solution for Canadian retailers and consumers alike.
Below, I’ll give you my full PayBright review and outline the benefits and drawbacks for both consumers and merchants. I’ll also explain a bit more about how BNPL with PayBright works so you know what to expect if you do use the service.
Buy Now, Pay Later Company
Buy now, pay later program that allows shoppers to split their purchase into four affordable payments or receive one-year financing on purchases with 0-29.95% APR
- Split expensive purchases into four equal bi-weekly payments (interest-free)
- Finance larger purchases with three to twelve-month terms (with interest)
- PayBright doesn’t perform a hard credit inquiry for BNPL
- PayBright is offered by a number of major retailers in Canada
- PayBright can help merchants increase sales and get more repeat customers
- Not all consumers use BNPL responsibly and may find themselves in a lot of debt
- Failure to pay back BNPL payment plans can negatively impact your credit score
- Long-term financing plans may come with a high 29.95% APR
- Merchants must give PayBright a percentage of the sale
How Does PayBright Work?
PayBright is, by far, the most established buy now, pay later company in Canada and has been in business for over a decade. PayBright works just like other BNPL services and offers short-term financing to consumers who want to split their purchases into more affordable payments.
PayBright is partnered with more than 7,000 domestic and international brands that range from major brands like Steve Madden, Wayfair, and Samsung to small eCommerce stores and mom-and-pop shops.
You can check the PayBrights website to see the full list of partners. However, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to use PayBright for most of your favourite mainstream brands. Some retail stores have also partnered with PayBright to offer BNPL options for in-store payments.
PayBright offers two primary payment methods to its customers:
- PayBright financing
Here’s a quick breakdown of the options, so you can see which is best for you:
|Breaks your purchase into four equal payments, which are paid bi-weekly||Financing terms between 3 and 12 months, depending on your creditworthiness|
|The first payment must be made upfront||The first payment must be made upfront|
|Zero interest||Interest rates vary between 0-29.95%, depending on the merchant|
|Almost everybody gets approved||Approval depends on the applicant’s credit|
The pay-in-4 option is PayBright’s most popular payment option, as it’s very easy to get approved for, doesn’t incur any interest, and allows customers to pay off their purchase in two months or less. This makes it easier to stay on top of compared to longer-term financing options.
PayBright financing is a bit more traditional and is similar to applying to a line of credit through other retailers (such as Best Buy’s financing program).
If you need extra time to pay off your purchase or you need to finance a more expensive purchase, then this option offers a longer repayment term and lower monthly payments than pay-in-4.
However, PayBright financing may come with added interest payments, which can range between 0% and 29.95%, depending on the merchant.
Before BNPL became popular, credit cards were the most common way to finance smaller purchases from stores. One of the reasons why BNPL became so popular, though, is that customers don’t have to submit to a hard credit inquiry.
Instead, PayBright performs a soft credit check to determine the amount you’re approved to borrow and your interest terms if you select PayBright financing.
Soft credit checks provide basic information about your credit report to PayBright but do not have a negative impact on your credit score.
Now that you know a little bit more about how PayBright works let’s take a closer look at how it can benefit you as a consumer. Some of the key benefits of PayBright for shoppers are:
- It can make large purchases more affordable by splitting payments
- Pay-in-4 programs are interest-free
- You may receive 0% PayBright financing for longer repayment terms.
When it comes to costly (and necessary) purchases, PayBright’s pay-in-4 program can come in handy.
These days, a good laptop can easily cost upwards of $1,000 or more, which not everybody has on hand.
Having the option to split the $1,000 purchase into four even payments of $250 (paid every two weeks) is a lot more manageable, as I just need to figure out how to earn an extra $125 per week. This is easily achievable with a side hustle or by taking on some extra hours at work.
If you opt for PayBright’s pay-in-4 plan, you don’t have to worry about any additional interest payments. This makes it similar to an old-fashioned layaway plan, except you get to take your item upfront.
In addition to PayBrights pay-in-4 bi-weekly payment plan, customers may also be approved for longer-term payment plans that range between three months and a year.
Typically, PayBright financing does incur some type of additional interest fee. However, some merchants partnered with PayBright offer 0% APR, especially to new customers.
Buy now, pay later programs can be very useful if they’re used responsibly. Used irresponsibly, though, BNPL can come with some downsides, such as:
- Negative marks on your credit from missed payments
- Accumulating excessive retail debt
- Potential for high interest rates on long-term financing
Although PayBright doesn’t perform a hard credit check while approving you for pay-in-4 or long-term financing, missing your scheduled payments could detrimentally affect your score.
In the event that you miss a payment, PayBright will usually give you the benefit of the doubt, assume that you’re having some card troubles, and offer a short grace period.
However, if you still fail to make your scheduled payment after PayBright has tried to contact you, then PayBright/Affirm will hit you with missed payment reports on your credit.
Recently, BNPL companies like PayBright have come under scrutiny by international governments. Detractors say that BNPL makes it too easy to take out short-term loans and borrow money. This, in turn, has resulted in an increasing number of young consumers taking on debt that they can’t afford.
Personally, I don’t recommend taking on more than one BNPL payment at a time. It’s all too easy to make multiple purchases and end up paying far more than you expected when the combined payments hit.
Although some merchants may offer 0% APR PayBright financing, this is the exception more than it’s the rule. More often than not, shoppers can expect to pay at least some interest on their long-term financing plan.
Some merchants may charge up to 29.95% APR on your purchase, which is an incredibly high-interest rate compared to a traditional line of credit or retail credit card.
PayBright has both benefits and drawbacks for consumers. For merchants, though, PayBright is mostly beneficial and has been proven to increase sales and result in a greater number of returning customers.
Here are some reasons why eCommerce merchants may want to consider offering PayBright to their customers.
The great thing about BNPL programs is that they assume all of the financial risks of the transaction. With traditional in-store financing, the merchant would have to take on the financial risk and suffer the loss if the borrower failed to make their payments on time.
By offering PayBright as a payment option during checkout, you offer customers the option to finance their purchase at no monetary risk to you. You’re getting paid regardless of how financially responsible (or irresponsible) your customer is.
Based on data from Affirm’s sales reports, stores that use PayBright see an average increase of 25% AOV after adding the BNPL option to their stores.
Since customers are able to split the cost of their purchase into more affordable payments, they’re more likely to spend money, add extra items to their cart, or upgrade their purchase, resulting in more revenue for your business.
By offering affordable, relatively low-risk financing and pay-in-4 options on your site, you’re helping to create a more positive shopping experience for your customer. Simply put, customers are more willing to come back and shop with a merchant that doesn’t sting their wallets too much.
Affirm statistics show that some stores increase their repeat purchase rate by up to 60%.
Lastly, PayBright is compatible with most major eCommerce platforms, including:
PayBright also works with iOS and Android SDKs (software development kits), allowing merchants to integrate the program into their app development.
The only real drawback that merchants will experience with PayBright is that they’re required to share a percentage of the sale with the BNPL company.
Although Affirm and PayBright don’t officially disclose these percentages, merchants can expect to share between 2% and 8% of the purchase price with the BNPL provider.
Realistically, though, this is still a fairly good deal, as using BNPL can help your eCommerce store increase repeat sales and incentivizes customers to make more expensive purchases.
If you’re financially responsible, can keep up with scheduled payments, and are using PayBright to finance a necessary purchase such as tools or equipment, then BNPL is a great way to split an otherwise costly purchase into more affordable payments.
You don’t have to worry about a hard credit check and won’t pay any interest if you use PayBrights pay-in-4 option (long-term financing is another story, though).
However, I don’t recommend using PayBright or other BNPL services to finance non-essential purchases like designer clothes, shoes, or game consoles.
These liabilities can quickly get out of hand and can leave you in over your head in debt, especially if you finance multiple purchases. One disadvantage of BNPL is that it doesn’t help you build credit.
If you want to build your credit score, it may be better to use a credit card for your purchase instead. Keep on reading to see my list of the best beginner credit cards in Canada!