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The World is Multi-apping and Winning Over Customers

By admin

If you’re still on the fence about offering buy now, pay later (BNPL) to your Canadian customers, you’re already falling behind. In just the past eight months, Square and PayPal acquired two major BNPL providers – Afterpay and Paidy – spending a combined $31.7 billion USD. In that time, Amazon and Walmart also added BNPL to their checkouts, while Target began offering not one, but two BNPL options – a new global trend called “multi-apping.” 


This explosive growth should come as no surprise as global BNPL sales hit $292 billion USD in 2018. By 2025 that number is expected to reach a staggering $760 billion. And just as accepting all major credit cards is the norm, our research shows that retailers are gaining more customers and boosting sales by multi-apping and offering multiple BNPL providers at checkout.

Aussies, Americans, and Brits lead the way

The top reason retailers are growing revenues by multi-apping is because consumers around the globe are already doing it. Here’s how the user numbers break down in three major markets: 


Percentage of BNPL users who use multiple providers

  • Australia 61%
  • United States 55%
  • United Kingdom 55%



But why are these numbers so high? As we’ve shared before, BNPL is quickly becoming the new credit card. And just as consumers use different credit cards to take advantage of rewards and interest rates, our research shows BNPL users are doing the same. Looking closer to home, we found 7 in 10 US BNPL users are now considering opening another account.

Lack of choice at retailers is why most consumers multi-app

While different incentives and rates rank high for why consumers multi-app, the top reason for shoppers using multiple BNPLs is that some retailers simply don’t always accept their favourite BNPL brand, and it’s consistent around the globe.  


Top 5 reasons consumers multi-app in Australia

  • 52% – Retailers don’t offer their preferred BNPL brand
  • 36% – Certain brands are better for smaller or larger purchases
  • 35% – Preferred repayment schedule at another brand
  • 25% – Sign-up incentives
  • 24% – Wanted to try another BNPL brand


Top 5 reasons consumers multi-app in the UK

  • 37% – Retailers don’t offer their preferred BNPL brand
  • 26% – Certain brands are better for smaller or larger purchases
  • 23% – Sign-up incentives
  • 22% – Better interest rates at another brand
  • 19% – Preferred repayment schedule at another brand

Zipsters spend more!

Again, multi-app growth in these key markets isn’t a surprise, as our research shows 41% of Australians and 47% of Americans shop more because of Zip. With Zip available at checkout, 44% of Aussies and Americans will make bigger purchases. (Discover the full report here)

Australia leads the global multi-app trend

Despite strong customer demand for retailers to offer not one, but multiple BNPL options, other countries have been slow to react compared to Australia. Down under, 63% of merchants that offer BNPL multi-app, while only 1 in 6 (17%) of US merchants do. 


Muti-apping among BNPL merchants: AUS vs. USA

  • Australia: 63%
  • US: 17%


However, watch for the US to fast follow with swiftly anticipated multi-BNPL adoption in the next 12 to 18 months. Department store giant Target is a prime example – it offers Affirm and, recently acquired by Zip, Sezzle – showing the transition to multiple providers has already begun.

Don’t get left behind

So what does this mean for Canadian retailers? Currently, our data suggest only 15% of Canadian BNPL users multi-app. This surprisingly low number can be attributed to a lack of understanding of the BNPL benefits, along with the slow retail adoption of BNPL in general creating a lack of awareness for shoppers. The Canadian market is also relatively new to BNPL – Zip only entered Canada in April 2021. However, there are now at least 10 BNPL players in Canada, so things are about to heat up!


With the trends shown by consumers and retailers in the UK, Australia and US, along with an overall decline in credit card use, it’s inevitable that Canada will soon follow suit. The question is, do you want your brand to be ready when it happens, or will you be playing catch up? 



See our full global BNPL multi-app report here.

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