A TikTok user has figured out a way to use Afterpay to pay for groceries, despite the ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) service not being officially available in-stores.
The social media user shared a step-by-step video demonstrating how shoppers can buy a Coles or Woolworths gift card from the Afterpay app or website, to then redeem it at the checkout and split the cost of the bill into four fortnightly installments.
@how.to.australiaAfterpay for groceries! ##Afterpay ##australia ##aussiethings ##aussie ##woolies ##coles ##fyp ##foryou ##foryoupage ##hacks ##kmart ##howto ##fypシ♬ original sound – How To Australia
Woolworths said shoppers were encouraged to use the payment methods that best work for their circumstances.
“We’re not currently offering a buy now, pay later option as part of our in-store payment systems,” a Woolworths spokesperson told Canstar Blue.
“We’re aware that some partners on-sell our gift cards to their members for use on a range of different payment apps. As always, it’s up to customers to choose which payment option works best for their personal circumstances.”
Gift card purchases on Afterpay are limited to members of the service’s loyalty program, Pulse Rewards, which allows consumers to earn points for on-time payments rather than the amount spent.
Those who have signed up to Afterpay’s rewards program can cash in their points for a variety of benefits, including the ability to delay payments by up to seven days multiple times a year.
Afterpay recently copped backlash after announcing it would be dipping its fingers into the hospitality sector, allowing diners to pay off a meal or a beer in four installments.
Canstar Blue consumer expert Megan Birot warns that buy now, pay later options could hurt shoppers’ hip pockets in the long term.
“It’s worth remembering that BNPL credit is a form of debt, so using these deferred payment options for essential items like groceries and food that are typically weekly or recurring expenses, could get some people in more debt,” she said.
“If you’re using these services for groceries every couple of weeks, it may be difficult to keep track of all your installments deadlines, and you could end up being slapped with hefty late fees.”
According to Canstar Blue’s latest supermarket survey, Australians spend an average of $153 per week on groceries.
Shoppers should also be aware that Afterpay can decline purchases, as stated on its website: ‘Afterpay does not approve 100% of orders. We are committed to ensuring we support responsible spending.’
Is Afterpay available at Coles or Woolworths?
Coles and Woolworths currently do not provide any BNPL services.
But while Woolworths does not offer Afterpay, customers can select PayPal at the checkout and choose the service’s Pay in 4 option. PayPal’s Pay in 4 payment method works similarly to other pay later services by splitting the total cost of purchase into four separate payments due every two weeks.
Afterpay was previously available to customers who purchased from Coles’ eBay store and had an eBay Plus membership, but this is now unavailable.
Please keep in mind that ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ (BNPL) services are a form of credit. Failing to make repayments on time may result in late payment fees or other charges, and may impact your credit score. Please read the BNPL’s terms and conditions before signing up.
BNPL services are not currently subject to the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009. BNPL services are largely unregulated in Australia, meaning consumers have fewer legal protections.
The information provided in this article is factual information only and not financial product advice on ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ (BNPL) services.
Picture credit: Shuang Li/Shutterstock.com, Tada Images/Shutterstock.com.