Microsoft Edge to include ‘buy now pay later’?

According to a Microsoft blog, it plans to incorporate ‘buy now pay later’ (BNPL) into its Microsoft Edge browser. And since this is at the browser level, it may be impossible to prevent. Coupled with a more assertive messaging to try and persuade users to use Edge rather than another browser, and many people and organisations are concerned.

An option for BNPL provider Zip could appear every time a payment option is shown, and since this is at the browser level, the websites would have no control over that. This could be a particular issue for sites where their ethos is not to offer credit, as they won’t have any choice if customers happen to be using Microsoft Edge.

In Microsoft’s blog, it says that any purchase between $35 and $1,000 (presumably UK equivalents when it happens here) can be split into 4 instalments over 6 weeks. Their reasoning is that it ‘can allow shoppers to get their purchase upfront, instead of having to wait until it’s paid in full’.

The response has been almost universally negative, and I suggest rightly so. You might feel that the ethics of promoting BNPL schemes is questionable at best. Building it into a browser, and stopping websites from exercising any choice or control, seems just wrong.

Let’s hope that Microsoft rethink this.