Buy Now Pay Later in College, Can Sezzle Make it Work?

Sezzle, a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services company, recently announced that they will be helping college students by bringing its BNPL payment options to college bookstores. This is in partnership with the Independent College Bookstore Association (ICBA).

The idea here is students often don’t have a lot of money, since they are well… students going to school. College Textbooks, the main money maker for a College Bookstore, are quite expensive. Sezzle will offer its BNPL service in-store to college students so they can pay for textbooks in 4 installments. Easing the burden of an all upfront payment on required textbooks for college classes.

Sezzle will be available in 230 college bookstores in the United States and Canada that are part of the ICBA. Read the Sezzle press release.

College students will be able to use Sezzle as a payment option for college merchandise, school supplies, and anything else sold in the college bookstore.

One big question, can Sezzle make it work?

BNPL in College – DimeScout’s Take

This can go both ways for students. There will likely be advocates and detractors.

BNPL won’t carry interest while holding a balance, unlike credit cards which most students have used to pay for textbooks. (I know from personal experience.) BNPL loans and services don’t charge interest if payments are made on-time with the set payment schedule.

Ideally college students using Sezzle will be able to make all the payments on the payment plan. If not, they could fall behind leading to unforeseen fees and interest, ballooning the cost of those college textbooks.

On the flipside, BNPL offers students a great way to spread out payments on the books and textbooks needed to complete their college education. There are not a lot of flexible payment options currently available and it is nice to see something new being offered to students.

Sezzle is most likely thinking that this is a great way to introduce Buy Now Pay Later services to a younger crowd. From most of the stats, research, and surveys out there 40% – 50% of people have heard of BNPL, but haven’t make a purchase using a BNPL service yet. That means a lot of untapped customer potential, especially for younger Gen Z audience.

Sezzle can also help build credit history by making payments on-time. Helping students gain access to credit for a larger purchases in the future, such as a car or house. Students can opt-in to have timely payments reported.

Most BNPL services do not report to the credit agencies. DimeScout is unsure of all of Sezzle’s policies regarding this.

By offering BNPL in college, it opens up new customers to using Buy Now Pay Later services. In this case Sezzle.

Share your thoughts in the comments. Will students use BNPL for paying for college books? Is offering Buy Now Pay Later good or bad for college students?

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