Transcript for Consumer Reports investigates ‘buy now, pay later’ apps
- A broadcast exclusive look at Consumer Reports new investigation into buy now, pay later apps, evaluating privacy, transparency, and security. Whit Johnson is here with information you need to know before using them. Good morning, Whit.
- Hey, Michael. Good morning to you. Buy now, pay later is often promoted as a lower-cost alternative to credit cards. Purchase something now and then pay for it in installments over time.
So according to Consumer Reports, PayPal came out on top of eight popular apps. It earned a top score in five categories of the 12 criteria researchers evaluated in fraud protection, disclosure, right to access, privacy information, and safety practices. No other app received a top scorer in more than one category.
Now, the advantages of using this type of program is if you make your payments on time, there's no interest or fees, as opposed to running a credit card balance. However, experts say there are some drawbacks you need to know about. If you miss a payment or choose a longer payment period, there could be interest. And Consumer Reports says some apps don't clearly disclose the fees.
Researchers also found security and fraud monitoring standards aren't always adequate. And the apps may collect more personal data than they need. All something to consider if you're looking at these apps, guys.
REPORTER: That is so true. Thanks so much, Whit.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.