In place of credit cards, cash-strapped consumers are turning to ‘buy now, pay later’ services for discretionary purchases. By running the risk of overspending, are they biting off more than they can chew?

For decades, instalment payments have helped many shoppers afford the latest gadgets or a shiny new car. But with the rise of e-commerce and digital wallets, a new payment method is helping the everyman get a slice of the good life — and millions are taking a bite.

From gym memberships to the week’s groceries, consumers around the world are turning to “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) services to make bills easier to stomach. Following the economic slowdown last year, cash-strapped consumers are drawn to the flexible payment plans, often offered with no additional interest charges.

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