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Buy Now Pay Later company partners with California grocery chain

Minneapolis-based fintech firm Sezzle says 61% of its users purchased groceries with the app

The trend of grocery shoppers using smartphone apps to place their orders and pay later is growing, and Sezzle, a so-called buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) platform, announced it is partnering with a grocery chain in Southern California. 

Sezzle said in a press release on Tuesday that its partnership with Vallarta Supermarkets “marks a significant milestone” of its expansion into the grocery sector. 

The Minneapolis, Minn.-based tech company enables shoppers to pay off the charge in four installments over six weeks with no interest. 

BNPL services have been growing in popularity and in the past have been mainly used by consumers for large non-food purchases in categories like electronics. But food inflation has prompted increased use of apps like Sezzle, Klarna, Affirm, and Afterpay for everyday purchases like groceries.

Sezzle cited data from Adobe showing that BNPL grocery purchases have increased by 40% year over year. The fintech company said 61% of its users have used their app to purchase groceries in the last three months. 

“Despite concerns that using credit for groceries may indicate financial strain, a 2024 PYMNTS survey reveals the prevalence of credit in the grocery sector,” Sezzle noted in its press release. “A third of U.S. consumers used a traditional credit card for their latest grocery purchase, a figure that has remained steady since 2021. The use of credit isn’t new to the grocery industry; Sezzle’s payment platform simply presents a modern adaptation of credit in the evolving landscape of consumer finance.”

Steve Netherton, Vallarta Supermarkets chief information officer, said in the press release that the service “enhances the shopping experience for Southern California communities” noting that the partnership is “setting a new standard for the convenience and financial accessibility in the grocery industry.”

In September, Supermarket News reported that a Federal Reserve survey revealed that BNPL was used by one in eight customers over the last 12 months — a 10% increase year over year. 

Data analytics company Global Data projects the $309 billion industry to grow by more than 25% by 2026. 

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