You tend to think that you can have it all because of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) payment options. The BNPL market is exploding, accounting for 2.1% of global e-commerce transactions in 2020; that's a cool $97 billion US . There are new players entering the market and the industry is expected to hit the $3.98 trillion mark by 2030. Canadians already know about Afterpay and Scotiabank SelectPay. Another known name in the industry is PayBright; it has a strong fan base and some great features. But, is it worth a try? We’ll find out in this PayBright review.
What is PayBright?
Founded in 2009 in Toronto, PayBright is a Canadian fintech company offering short-term installment loans to consumers for online shopping. These interest-free loans are offered at checkout and are designed to allow consumers to buy today and pay later. The business supports both online and offline stores and supports more than 7,000 merchants.
The business has more than $1.5 billion in approved consumer spending power and over 6,000 users in the country. The business has grown over the years and was acquired by Affirm in 2020. It’s a US-based fintech company that intends to expand the business.
A BBB-accredited business, PayBright is considered safe and legitimate. It was named Canada's Top Fintech Firm in 2017 and is marketed as a “credit card alternative” by the company. Consumers can choose to pay later and pick from several payment options.
Those who want more leverage may consider other loan options in Canada. While PayBright offers several benefits, it does have some limitations as it only supports a limited number of merchants. Also, it may not be suitable for all purchases.
How does PayBright work?
It does not work like credit cards as there is no 16-digit number. You will get the option to choose PayBright during check out. Instead of PayPal or credit card, choose PayBright and follow the instructions on your screen.
You will have to sign up for an account. Once you sign up and login, you can choose from various installment options. The purpose of this service is to make it easier for consumers to shop by allowing them to break down their purchases into installments.
You will receive your goods once your first installment gets approved. The approval process only takes a few minutes. It works in a similar fashion at physical stores as well. You can choose to use PayBright at checkout and the platform supports both small and large purchases.
PayBright payment plans
Users can choose from two payment plans. However, you may not receive both options at all participating merchants. Some may offer a single option.
“Pay in 4” Plan
Perfect for small purchases, the Pay in 4 plan allows buyers to pay in four bi-weekly installments. This is one of the most sought after plans as it will not impact your credit score. Plus, it's cheaper as there are no processing charges.
The plan consists of an interest-free payment structure that is not only affordable but also very easy to manage as the process is automatic. A large number of merchants offer this option, however, it may not be available for large purchases. When you choose this option, you will get to pay for your purchase in four installments.
You’ll pay the first installment right away and the remaining amount will be deducted from your account every two weeks. The product will get shipped to you just as the first installment gets approved, which is usually immediately. This is not the same as layaway: with PayBright, you own the item right away.
“Pay Monthly” Plan
This option gives more flexibility as it allows buyers to make automatic monthly payments spread over a period of six to sixty months. Said to be more suitable for big purchases, this payment plan has an annual interest rate of up to 29.95 percent. Buyers will also have to pay processing charges that range from $1 to $4 per transaction.
The annual interest rate depends on factors such as your credit history and can be as low as 0 percent. This option is not available at all merchants. You will usually see this one when you make a large purchase at a participating merchant. Also, remember that this plan will trigger a hard credit check and will impact your credit score.
PayBright Pros and Cons
Like any other service, PayBright has both pros and cons. Here’s a comparison to help you understand if it’s the right option for you:
You must sign up for an account with PayBright to be able to use this payment option. The purpose is to ensure you qualify and meet the requirements. The system will ask you to provide personal details including your full name, address, email address, date of birth, and phone number.
You must be at least 18 years-old and a Canadian resident to qualify. Also, you may be asked to provide proof of identity and address, such as a bank statement not older than three years, for verification purposes. Also, the company requires that you have an active Canadian phone number and a local debit card affiliated with Mastercard or Visa.
There are no credit requirements at this stage. If you have an excellent score, you will qualify for 0 percent annual interest rate. Otherwise, you will have to pay interest on large purchases.
Can PayBright impact my credit score?
PayBright will impact your credit score only if you use the Pay Monthly option. This option will result in a hard check and the check will appear on your credit report. Also, the company is known for reporting payment activity to credit bureaus including Transunion and Experian.
On the other hand, there is no hard check when you go for the ‘Pay in 4’ option. It results in a soft check only to verify your details. Also, this loan will not show up on your credit report.
Always pay your installements on time to ensure your credit score does not suffer. Missing a payment can cause your score to drop. Remember that banks and other financial organizations will be able to see your credit report and if you have any outstanding balance. This can make it difficult or costlier to qualify for loans in the future.
What if I do not pay?
You will have to pay penalties in the form of fees and higher interest if you fail to make payments. Moreover, it will negatively impact your credit score. Expect to pay anywhere between $10 and $30 if you fail to make timely payments.
If you continue to avoid payments, your account will eventually go into arrears before reaching collections. The company uses an automatic system that reschedules payments at a later date. Login to your account to check your payment schedule.
Is It possible to change my due dates?
The company doesn’t give users the option to change due dates. However, you can get in touch with customer support and request changes. We found that agents are friendly and might be able to help you if they feel you have a genuine request.
You can call 877-276.-2780 to reach the company. They're available Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm EST, and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm EST. Alternatively, you can open a ticket. The team usually responds within 24 to 48 hours.
At the end of the day, PayBright wants users to pay and might be willing to shift dates if it means getting paid. However, in some cases, it might result in some penalties or a higher interest rate. Furthermore, you can choose to pay your balance in full whenever you feel like it, without having to bear any penalties.
PayBright Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about PayBright. They’ll help you know more about the company and the services it offers. We hope that these questions help you better understand PayBright.
Are there any PayBright alternatives?
A large number of companies offer buy now, pay later services in Canada including Afterpay and SelectPay. Check their reviews and compare available options so you can pick the best. While most companies offer similar services, they usually differ in terms of rates, customer support, fees, and supported stores.
Which stores does PayBright support?
PayBright supports both physical and online stores including some very popular names such as Apple, The Bay, Browns Shoes, Wayfair, SAIL, SHEIN, Samsung, and Steve Madden. It covers almost all niches including fashion, electronics, sporting goods, furniture, hobby, auto, and beauty.
How can I close my account?
The process is easy but it can take up to 30 days for accounts to close permanently. You will have to get in touch with the team to request account deletion.
Is it possible to increase my PayBright credit limit?
It is not presently possible to increase your credit limit. The company uses an automated system that assigns each user a specific limit based on their credit score. Your limit will automatically increase if or when your credit score improves.
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About The Author: Arthur Dubois
Passionate about personal finance and financial technology, Arthur Dubois is a writer and SEO specialist at Hardbacon. Since his arrival in Canada, he’s built his credit score from nothing.
Arthur invests in the stock market but doesn’t pay any fees because he uses National Bank Direct Brokerage online broker and Wealthsimple’s robo-advisor. He pays for his subscriptions online with his KOHO prepaid card, and uses his Tangerine credit card for most of his in-store purchases. When he buys bitcoins, it’s with the BitBuy online platform. Of course it goes without saying that he uses the Hardbacon app so that he can manage all of his finances from one convenient place.
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