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Amazon Lets U.K. Shoppers Buy Now, Pay Later

Amazon's Pay Monthly initiative lets shoppers in the U.K. pay for large orders in installments.

[Photo: kay roxby via Shutterstock]

When Amazon shoppers in the U.K. go to pay for their orders, they’ll now see a new payment choice on the checkout page: Amazon Pay Monthly. The new option lets customers pay for more expensive items in installments, a move that could position the online retailer to further disrupt brick-and-mortar stores.

Shoppers can use Pay Monthly on orders of more than £400, or about $588. The process for qualifying is lightning quick: apply for a credit check, then, "in most cases, you'll receive a response within one minute." No deposit is necessary, either. Your first payment will be due 30 days after the order ships.

The ability to buy now and pay later for large orders is a smart way to get customers to spend more with one click. It could be particularly useful to customers buying large, expensive items like furniture or electronics, but the £400 can also be spread out over multiple items, so long as they’re all purchased at the same time.

The new initiative is in partnership with Hitachi Capital. A Hitachi spokesman said it "means you can go straight from choosing a new dishwasher or fridge to accessing finance options through us, all while staying on the Amazon site."

Customers have up to four years to pay for their purchase, and the interest rate is around 17%. That’s actually slightly lower than the average U.K. credit card rate, which was at around 17.8% in 2015.

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