Article

Buy Now, Pay Later in the Metaverse

CUES managing editor and publisher Theresa Witham
Theresa Witham Photo
VP/Publications & Publisher
CUES

3 minutes

From the editor

At the risk of sounding old, I have to admit that the only experience I have with buy now, pay later is from my last QVC purchase when I used the “Easy Pay” option. With any major credit card, you can split your purchase into interest-free payments spread out over three to four months.

The BNPL concept, which has been used by TV shopping networks for decades, has been given the fintech treatment, and now BNPL options are everywhere and popular with millennials and Gen Z

“Every CU should offer a BNPL product,” says Brian Scott, chief growth officer of CUESolutions provider PSCU. “It provides optimal convenience and tools for smart financial management members can apply later.” According to the Experian Global Insights Report, 80% of consumers subsequently convert eligible card transactions to BNPL, he notes in our cover story, “New Deal .”

Another surefire way to make me feel old is thinking about the metaverse. I don’t want to build an avatar or even a TikTok; I just want to hang where I’m comfortable on Facebook and Instagram with all my other Gen X and boomer friends. 

But after reading our latest online feature, I have a better understanding of the metaverse and what it could mean for the future. Check it out for yourself in “Beam Me Up, Snoop Dogg: What CUs Need to Know About the Metaverse.”

“At its core, the metaverse is a vision, not just a technology,” says Neil Dougherty, VP/marketing communications for CUESolutions provider Strategic Resource Management. “It’s the next frontier of the virtual world we’ve long envisioned. It is meant to be highly social and dialogue-driven.” 

If you read the 2011 book Ready Player One (or watched the 2018 movie adaptation), you’ll have some idea of what the future of the metaverse could be, both good and bad. Our article will help you understand what the metaverse could mean for credit unions and what you need to pay attention to now.

“We’re very, very early in the evolution of the metaverse, so this is not the kind of thing where senior executives and boards of directors need to be sitting around worrying … at the moment,” says Ron Shevlin, chief research officer at CUESolutions provider Cornerstone Advisors. 

But people are spending real cash in the metaverse. In January alone, $85 million was spent on metaverse real estate. My Gen Z son frequently spends his allowance and lawn mowing earnings on virtual goods and tools in the online games he plays. I always ask him: “Are you sure you want buy this make-believe hat instead of saving up for a real LEGO set?” He usually does. If people are spending, credit unions should be at least thinking about how to participate. 

As metaverse purchasing increases, I’ve no doubt we’ll see BNPL functionality there too. In fact, at least one fintech is already doing just that. Dive into the metaverse at cumanagement.com/0722metaverse. And read more about BNPL and other card trends here .

P.S. As you plan your CU’s budget for 2023, don’t forget to budget for professional development for yourself and your team. CUES can help! Visit content.cues.org/plan23 for resources.  cues icon

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