PayPal is shaking up the ‘buy now, pay later’ market, with their new service ‘Pay in 4’. Their impact was instantly felt with both Afterpay and Zip Co shares taking a tumble of nearly 8%.

Pay in 4’s point of difference is having no late fees. Meaning customers won’t be punished for initially missing their repayments like they are on most other BNPL platforms.

Afterpay raked in a cool $70 million from late fees in 2020, a figure that is predicted to rise even higher this year.

However, PayPal isn’t the only big name entering the space, with Commonwealth Bank Australia and Apple both announcing entries into the market as well.

Not only does this represent a threat to the smaller BNPL companies as giant corporations start waving their money around, but it’s also making things quite confusing for the consumer.

Different platforms have different offerings in terms of what late fees they’re charging, varying credit limits and how much cash you’re allowed to splash at once.

With the space getting more and more crowded, we thought we’d put together a guide of the different platforms and what they offer so you can pick the one that’s best for you.

Paypal: Pay in 4

  • Pay in 4 charges no interest and no late fees
  • You can make extra or unscheduled advance payments
  • Your payment will be split into four equal, fortnightly payments
  • You can use Pay in 4 for payments between $30 and $1500
  • No set credit limit but customers will receive a hidden credit limit and will receive a notification once this limit is reached.
  • Who is it good for: perfect if you’re already a PayPal customer and are a little forgetful with payments and don’t want to incur late fees


  • Credit limit starts at $500 and increases over time with responsible spending
  • You will make four equal, fortnightly repayments
  • No interest
  • If a payment is late, you are charged an initial $10 fee and a further $7 if the payment is still not paid after seven days
  • Late fees for purchases over $40 are capped at $68 or 25% of the purchase price, whichever is lower
  • Who is it good for: Those who spend a lot but are willing to be consistent with repayments over time

Apple Pay Later

  • As a disclaimer, the Apple services features and even name are still subject to change before it goes lives but this is what we know so far …
  • An option between four interest-free payments made every two weeks, or payments across several months but with interest
  • Somep plans will have no late fees or processing fees
  • No credit checks are required
  • Who is it good for: If you’re already using Apple Pay it’ll be an easy transition to add Apple Pay Later to your phone’s wallet


  • Your credit limit will be displayed once downloading the app and will go up over time as you complete repayment plans
  • No interest
  • Advance repayments are allowed
  • Shorter plans have no processing fees
  • Payments are automatically deducted so you don’t miss them and you will receive payment reminders
  • You can choose between different payment plans, each will require payments in two week instalments
  • Can apply for higher spending limits with a credit check
  • Who is it good for: Those looking for flexibility with their repayments


  • Zip offers two options, Zip Pay, which is for purchases under $1000 and Zip Money is for purchases over $1000
  • Zip Pay has an option of setting your credit limit between $350 to $1000, with monthly repayments that begin at $40 (unless you owe less than this). Or an option of setting a $1500 credit limit with repayments that begin at $80 each month.
  • Zip Money has a credit limit above $1000 and you can specially apply for a limit above $500.
  • Zip Pay has no interest and Zip Money has no interest for the first three months, and then 19.9% p.a after your interest free period expires
  • Who is it good for: Those looking to make both small and large purchases on Afterpay


  • Can be used for purchase anywhere from $1 to $30,000
  • You’ll be given two types of wallets, one for smaller purchases and one for larger purchases
  • Less expensive purchases can be paid off in 5 or 10 weekly payments with no fees for 5 weeks, or for 10 weeks there is a fee of $8 a month
  • Larger purchase can be paid off in anywhere from 6 to 60 months, there is a monthly $8 fee, an establishment fee of $35 to $90 and a repeat purchase fee of $22
  • There is a $6 fee for late payments across the platform
  • You can choose which day your repayments will be due, so you can line it up with your pay day if you choose
  • Who is it good for: Perfect for people who are looking to make big purchases on a BNPL

CBA Step Pay

  • CBA Step Pay may be more difficult to access than other platforms as you will have to fit the criteria for eligibility and have your credit assessed
  • Can be used for purchases in between $100 and $1000
  • Paid off in four, fortnightly transactions
  • $10 late fee per missed instalment
  • Who is it good for: Commonwealth bank customers with good credit


  • Is partnered with Mastercard, so can be used anywhere where Mastercard is accepted
  • You have 14 days to repay your loan, or you can snooze the payment for two weeks for a $5 flat fee
  • Credit limit is $1000 for a standard account or you can sign up for the superbundll option which gets you up to a $4000 limit
  • There are no credit checks for the standard version but credit checks for superbundll, as well as having to pay 5% on all purchases
  • Who is it good for: Those who want to use a BNPL platform but don’t want to get caught up in long term repayments

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