Microsoft faced criticisms Wednesday (Dec. 1) for its proposal to add in buy now, pay later (BNPL) functions to its Edge web browser, over assertions that the payment plan could lead to more users in debt.
The BNPL model usually involves paying for a service which will be divided over four installments over time. Microsoft’s idea added a provider to the checkout page for shopping sites as a default payment option, which has been seen by some users as a “cash grab.”
A BBC report says that the user-based tagging system has seen the accusations of greed turned into tags on the company’s blog post. Now the post has tags like “poor leadership,” “exploitative,” “garbage” and an “embarrassment.”
In response, Microsoft has said it doesn’t get fees for connecting users with loan providers. The report notes that it’s unclear what benefit Microsoft is getting from its deal with payment provider Zip, but notes that the option is ingrained into the browser.
That means that it’s on websites without their permissions, with the only way to opt-out being to ask Microsoft directly.
Microsoft has put the payment option “at browser level” so it appears as a payment method near the credit card field, melding with Zip’s payment system for any purchase between $35 and $1,000.
The idea behind Microsoft’s adoption of the idea is to let shoppers “to get their purchase up front, instead of having to wait until it’s paid in full,” the company post says.
PYMNTS writes that PayPal has seen a boost in BNPL spending for Black Friday.
The report says that the PayPal offering was rolled out in late 2020 and that, according to CEO Dan Schulman, the volume of pay was up around 400% since last year.
The company had done about 750,000 transactions as of Black Friday and recorded its first ever payment volume of over $1 billion in a month.