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Afterpay and Sezzle look to healthcare payments for BNPL greenfield

The news: Two major buy now, pay later (BNPL) providers signed healthcare-related deals.

  • Block-owned Afterpay partnered with online eyewear retailer EyeBuyDirect to let customers purchase prescription eyewear in four biweekly, interest-free installments, per a press release.
  • Sezzle is letting WellNow Urgent Care customers pay their medical bills in four interest-free installments, per a press release. Customers can pay with Sezzle at more than 100 WellNow locations across five states, including New York. They can also use Sezzle to pay for services through WellNow’s virtual care platform.

Trendspotting: Healthcare could become a hot area for BNPL providers as consumers seek out flexible payments for high-value expenses.

Forty-three percent of US adults said they want to use BNPL for high-value purchases, per a PYMNTS and AWS survey. And of those who are “very” or “extremely” interested in BNPL for high-value purchases, 21.8% said they’d want to use it for medicine and prescription payments.

As consumers become increasingly concerned about health-related costs, Afterpay and Sezzle could provide a viable solution for certain expenses. Both providers already work with medical supply retailers and some cosmetic dentist offices, but they aren’t the only ones that recognize the opportunity: Healthcare fintech PayZen offers “Care Now, Pay Later,” which lets healthcare providers offer patients more affordable payment options.

The opportunity: Afterpay and Sezzle can use their latest tie-ups to diversify and reach a wider customer base before the BNPL space becomes overcrowded.

  • A flood of startups, banks, and major payments providers are trying to stake out their claim to the BNPL market—making it harder for players like Afterpay and Stezzle to stand out in mainstay retail categories like clothing, beauty, and electronics. That’s pushed providers to branch out into segments like travel to attract a broader array of consumers.
  • The number of US BNPL users is expected to hit 59.3 million this year, per Insider Intelligence forecasts. Healthcare could offer a large potential consumer base to fuel that growth. Afterpay and Sezzle might also see higher revenue potential since healthcare-related costs tend to be more expensive than general retail.

Related content: Check out the BNPL section of our “Payment Methods and Funding Mechanisms” report to learn more about why BNPL incumbents are moving into niche sectors.