Laybuy vs. Afterpay

Updated 7th October 2020

Mobile shopping
  • Compare the details of repayment plans, account spending limits, late fees, availability and more.
  • See how Laybuy stacks up against its biggest competitor in New Zealand?

Buy now pay later (BNPL) services are growing in popularity in New Zealand with consumers taking advantage of their interest-free instalment plans.

So, when it comes to Laybuy and Afterpay, which BNPL service will suit you most? Let's find out.

How Laybuy works

Founded in 2017, Laybuy is a competing BNPL service that allows shoppers to repay their purchase without interest over six weekly instalments. Each payment equals a sixth of the total purchase price, with the first payment occurring upon checkout or shipping.

Laybuy is an ideal BNPL service for spenders who want to avoid spending with a credit card and would rather not take out store financing. As a short-term solution, it allows users to remain out of devastating debt. Laybuy users must be of legal age, a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, and a valid debit or credit cardholder. Upon registration, Laybuy will run a credit check to determine your initial spending cap.

Similar to Afterpay, Laybuy users can browse partner retailers with the Shop Directory. Whether online or in-store, shoppers can customise their repayment dates. The service deducts the appropriate fees from the account automatically.

How Afterpay works

Established in 2015, Afterpay was once a simple fin-tech company. Today, it is now one of the most sought-after buy now pay later (BNPL) services.

For Australian and New Zealand shoppers, there’s no easier way to receive your goods as soon as you want them without having to pay an up-front fee. Afterpay allows users to shop for high-priced items with over 10,000 partner retailers, payable in four equal instalments. If you’ve been saving up for an item but don’t quite have enough to purchase it directly, Afterpay can make your purchase far more manageable.

To become a member, all you need to do is provide identification proving you’re of legal age and a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident. Then, you’ll have to register an active debit or credit card and provide your contact information such as your delivery address, telephone number, and email address.

Upon activation, you’ll receive a barcode reflecting your initial available spend, which increases the more you use the service. Your spending cap is determined by a pre-authorisation check. Just note that your credit score won’t impact your ability to open an account.

Shopping with Afterpay is quick and intuitive. Users can browse partner retailers using the Shop Directory and checkout with Afterpay on a store’s official website. If shopping in-store, simply present your barcode at the register. If approved, you’ll receive your item immediately and pay the remaining instalments over time. Keep in mind that Afterpay doesn’t accept bank transfers, prepaid cards, or BPay.

Fund your Laybuy or Afterpay account with a rewards credit card and you can still earn points.

Feature comparison

Repayment frequency

  • Afterpay: Each repayment with Afterpay is worth 25% of the item’s total purchase price. Shoppers pay the first instalment up-front and the remaining three every two weeks. For every repayment you miss, you’ll be charged a late fee. There’s also an additional fee for missing a payment over seven days.
  • Laybuy: Users can schedule repayment dates as they please, so long as they occur within six weeks of the initial purchase. You can review your repayment dates via email or on your Laybuy account. Payments are charged automatically on the card registered to your account. Should you choose to make a payment before the upcoming due date, you can do so manually via the website or application.

Borrowing limit

  • Afterpay: Afterpay caps single transactions at $1,500, with a total outstanding account limit of $2,000. However, users won’t get this privilege upon registration. Initially, borrowing caps are tight, subject to increase only after making several successful repayments. Typically, Afterpay will only approve one order at a time and restrict future purchasing privileges for every missed deadline.
  • Laybuy: Shoppers using Laybuy can enjoy a generous initial spending cap of $1,000, which increases over time. However, users have the option to apply for Laybuy Boost, which allows purchases of up to $1,400. Instead of making ⅙ of the total purchase price up-front, the first payment will equal $400 or whatever amount in excess of $1,000.

Credit check

  • Afterpay: Afterpay won’t run a credit check for account approval. Instead, it’ll do so to determine your initial spending cap or when shopping with a retailer that requires it. In some cases, you’ll also have to undergo a soft credit check for costlier purchases.
  • Laybuy: Unlike Afterpay, Laybuy runs a credit check before approving account sign-ups. Though it won’t affect your existing credit score, it may determine whether or not you can shop using the service.

Online & offline use

  • Afterpay: Afterpay is lauded for its seamless integration with shops online and in-store. You likely won’t come across a retailer in New Zealand that doesn’t offer Afterpay. To determine whether a shop carries Afterpay as a checkout option, refer to its Shop Directory on the website or application. You’ll be asked to input your payment details, which you can save for future use. When shopping in-store, most registers that support Afterpay will display its logo. Note that Afterpay won’t approve 100% of purchases, depending on your remaining balance, repayment history, number of active orders, and how long you’ve been a member.
  • Laybuy: Laybuy is easy to use online and offline, though the app currently only offers checkout with 1,000 retailers, the majority of which are within the fashion industry. The advantage Laybuy boasts above other BNPL platforms is that users can determine their preferred repayment dates before checking out.

Cost comparison

Account fee

  • Afterpay: There is no retention fee for keeping an Afterpay account open.
  • Laybuy: Laybuy doesn’t charge any sign-up fees.

Interest rate

  • Afterpay: Afterpay purchases are entirely interest-free.
  • Laybuy: Like Afterpay, purchases with Afterpay are interest-free.

Late fee

  • Afterpay: A single late payment will cost users $10, whereas missing it for over seven days will charge an additional $7. On items below $40, late fees cap at $10, while purchases costing more can potentially rake up to $68 in late charges if you miss every payment.
  • Laybuy: Regardless of the purchase price, Laybuy will charge a late fee of $10. Missing a payment over seven days is double that.

Pros & cons

Laybuy

Pros:

  • Laybuy Boost allows users to increase their spending cap immediately, given that they can adhere to its additional repayment obligations.
  • Users can customise their repayment schedule.
  • It offers a reasonable alternative for users who don’t want to apply for a credit card.

Cons:

  • Higher chances of order approval can make it challenging to keep up with repayment plans.
  • Missing a deadline for over a week incurs a $20 late fee.
  • Partner retailers are mostly within the fashion sector – options are limited.

Afterpay

Pros:

  • Users can shop with the broadest possible range of retailers among BNPL services.
  • There is no need to undergo a credit check to apply for Afterpay.
  • Integration within online and in-store retailers is smooth.

Cons:

  • Late fees can mount if you miss payments frequently.
  • You typically can’t shop for items worth more than $1,500.
  • Interest-free terms encourage impulse buys.

Winner

Afterpay is Australia and New Zealand’s top-performing BNPL service for a reason. With it, you can shop an expansive variety of retailers – and chances are, you’re going to find the exact items you’re looking for. With that in mind, Afterpay’s late fees can mount, deterring users from making costlier purchases altogether.

On the other hand, some shoppers might prefer the ability to choose their repayment date, a feature that Laybuy offers. They can also make more expensive purchases from the get-go, given that they can satisfy the additional fees. Laybuy users, however, will have to undergo a credit check to access a more limited catalogue of retailers, and late charges are significantly more expensive.

Ultimately, it comes down to preferences and spending habits. Always make a list of the advantages and disadvantages before selecting the best BNPL service for you.

Laybuy and Afterpay competitors

If you haven't made your mind up, then be sure to visit our comparison of New Zealand's buy now pay later services.