BNPL in parliament but young Australians need non-predatory solutions, not just policy

BNPL in parliament but young Australians need non-predatory solutions, not just policy

By Luke Trickett (pictured), Founder of Backpocket


While todays’ legislation will go some way to regulate the buy-now-pay-later industry, it is effectively a bandaid on a broken leg. Although credit and income checks will help mitigate the risk of consumer debt – and regulation to protect consumer rights is something we will always wholeheartedly support – young Australians ultimately need more options and innovative payment solutions to help remove this risk altogether.

With caps on late fees and limits to annual charges still in consultation, it is critical that the legislation is extended to protect consumers from predatory lending fees. These additional costs have disproportionately impacted Gen Zs and Millennials as the demographics hit hardest by the cost of living crisis. To further increase their hardship through additional fees would be unethical.

The popularity of buy-now-pay-later solutions has arisen out of a lack of affordable alternatives and an aversion to traditional forms of interest-bearing debt. With late fees steadily increasing over recent years, the knock-on impact to all industries – but particularly the entertainment industry – has been stark. Low ticket sales and the subsequent cancellation of festivals including Caloundra Music Festival, Groovin the Moo and Splendour in the Grass indicates a lack of suitable payment options for group bookings, showing Aussies were not willing to get stung by late fees while waiting for friends to pay.

At Backpocket we don’t charge the consumer interest, late fees or any other fee. We’re working hard to support Australian consumers in today’s tight economy so they can spend more time making memories with friends, and less time worrying about money.