Recently, Mastercard announced it will be launching its own buy now pay later (BNPL) program, titled Mastercard Installments, in the U.S. as well as the U.K. and Australia. According to the financial services giant, Installments was designed to “reinvent installments”—a bold claim, to be sure, considering digital payment competitors such as Visa and Square have already put out their own BNPL offerings into a field crowded with upstart fintech firms.
However, by all appearances Mastercard is making the most of a key strength, one that may represent a significant point of difference from the rest of the pack. In an assertive move that shows how seriously Mastercard is taking Installments, the company is leveraging its considerable network of worldwide partners and merchants to give Installments a significant head start on the competition. Among the partnerships announced so far are Barclays U.S., SoFi, and Qantas Loyalty.
In a press release announcing the upcoming launch, Mastercard claimed that Installments will feature the same security and universality of other Mastercard-serviced payments with the added convenience of delayed payments, a digital wallet, and other features. “It is a digital-focused way to pay today and tomorrow, delivered through consumers’ most trusted relationships with their banks and other lenders, at merchants of their choice,” explained Chief Product Officer Craig Vosburg.