Community concerns are growing over the use of ‘buy now, pay later’ apps in online liquor stores. These apps take the price factor out of the purchase and can lead to increased alcohol purchasing, consumption, and harm.

Buy now, pay later apps allow people to buy items and pay for them within 30 to 60 days. When this is applied to liquor stores, it takes the price factor out of the alcohol purchase, thus increasing the affordability of alcohol. This practice therefore is likely to drive more alcohol consumption. Buy now, pay later for alcohol would be specifically harmful to people who are recovering from an alcohol use disorder or people who use alcohol heavily and might develop alcohol dependence.

Delayed payment makes it more attractive to buy alcohol because you are no longer held back by the price,” said Carmen Voogt, an alcohol policy researcher at the Trimbos Institute, as per NL Times.

We know from research that the price incentive is actually a decisive factor in the decision whether someone buys alcohol or not, and how much.”

Carmen Voogt, alcohol policy researcher, Trimbos Institute

Currently, online liquor store Gall & Gall offers the option to pay through the buy now pay later app Klarna, and offers the practice through Riverty.

This could further lead to people who use alcohol going into debt since a customer who makes a purchase with Klarna or Riverty can be penalized for late payments. 

This can also lead to excessive users getting into debt and getting into financial problems,” said Floor van Bakkum, a prevention manager with addiction care institution Jellinek, as per NL Times.

Floor van Bakkum, prevention manager, Jellinek

Last year on July 1, 2022 the Netherlands implemented new alcohol laws. Among the improvements to the law was the elimination of price promotions of more than 25% discount. This law was adopted specifically since price affects purchases. While buy now pay later apps are not illegal according to the law, it also takes the price factor out of the purchase, which can affect people’s purchasing habits.

Source Website: NL Times