Not just for the kids: Baby Boomers stoke a red-hot ‘Greynaissance’ for Buy Now, Pay Later services

Buy Now, Pay Later is undergoing a Greynaissance.

Coined in fashion as a bubbling emergence of older generations into space dominated by youth, the movement is filtering down to fintech. Many guesstimated that Gen Z and Millennial Early Adopters would be the only market for Buy Now, Pay Later, but the facts are in: BNPL is no longer a trendy payment method reserved only for youthful technorati.

Baby Boomers, a generation frequently chastised by the Twittersphere for their forehead FaceTimes and phobia of PDFs are anything but the age-old trope. Over one-third of consumers aged 55+ have outfitted their homes with tech-savvy devices like smart lights and thermostats. They’re clocking Instagram screen time that goes toe-to-toe with Millennials, and 7 out of 10 pay via contactless tech like Apple Watches and tappable chips. Boomers are shaking the erudite stereotype and proving they have a new attitude towards all things tech. Here’s how they’re reshaping the Buy Now, Pay Later landscape.

In 2021, Buy Now, Pay Later usage rocketed 98% amongst American adults over 54

Think Buy Now, Pay Later is wielded by Generation Z coveting TikTok impulse buys? Guess again: Boomers represent the largest increase in BNPL adoption between 2020 and 2021. Early retail entrants focused on the young and cool club, but as more merchants that cater to older generations roll out BNPL initiatives, Boomer participation will continue to catch fire.

For Boomers that use BNPL, high-cost purchases are most common

One study by Credit Karma revealed that 76% of BNPL shoppers under 25 use the service to pick up inexpensive purchases under $250. While Gen Z represents a large chunk of the market, their adoption dwindles as carts climb in cost.

On the other hand, BNPL explodes amongst shoppers 55+ as the purchase price increases—and by a lot. Amongst Boomers, the numbers trend in reverse—72% of their purchases are over $250. They also represent the largest percentage of users tapping the financing tool for purchases in excess of $3,000.

Buy Now, Pay Later is very popular amongst high-income consumers

The myth that BNPL is for the cash-strapped is just that: a myth. Recent research has shown that high-income households are turning in droves to BNPL to smartly defray the costs of big-ticket purchases.

The BNPL user base has serious purchasing power: 92% of males reporting an income higher than $200,000 have used the service to book vacations and snag new electronics. And they’re not only buying for themselves—3 out of 4 Buy Now, Pay Later users have children, resulting in shopping carts chocked full of back-to-school clothes and gear.

Well-off boomers used Buy Now, Pay Later to support their 2021 holiday haul

Buy Now, Pay Later has used sheer convenience to fuel an increase in shopping budgets. For one, you don’t need to sort through hundreds of options like you would a credit card—all it takes is a few clicks at checkout. Plus, there’s no need to mastermind your own pay-off plan: BNPL providers tell you just how much you owe and when in order to pay off the tab within a chosen time frame.

It’s such an easy way to pay that it’s no surprise that Buy Now, Pay Later fans spent more during the holidays than non-BNPL customers. A whopping 42% of BNPL users reported a higher holiday budget compared to just 8% of those who don’t use the service. Amongst the cohort most likely to have spent big using BNPL this gifting season? Those making $100,000 or more per year.

So how can merchants continue to drive adoption of BNPL amongst older shoppers? Boomers are already a captive social media audience. They spend just as many hours scrolling through Instagram and Facebook as Millennials do—44 and 60 minutes per day, respectively—so target your messaging accordingly. All generations are susceptible to one common lure: because my friends are doing it. Stories and testimonials are your real evidence that proves, hey, it’s the new way for grey to pay.