PayPal is adding a new tool that will allow shoppers to pay for goods in interest-free instalments in a boost for struggling consumers and online retailers on its payments platform.
The company said “Pay in 3” would be available for purchases between £45 and £2,000 from the end of the month.
It explained that the feature allows people to pay for items in three monthly instalments at a time when incomes are squeezed by the COVID-19 crisis.
Under the scheme, PayPal covers the full cost of the goods for the retailer or business at point of sale, and automatically takes the payment instalments on their due date.
It said there were no charges for either the retailer or customer, though a missed payment would result in a flat £12 fee.
The company’s UK director of enterprise accounts, Rob Harper, said: “During the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen the number of people in the UK shopping online increase dramatically.
“At the same time, many more consumers are looking to spread the cost of those purchases.”
PayPal said Crew Clothing, French Connection, Robert Dyas and Ryman were among the chains to have signed up to date.
It believes the tool would be particularly helpful in the run-up to Christmas – with people reluctant to visit physical stores amid continuing coronavirus restrictions that are widely expected to continue to shift into the New Year.
The crisis has hammered the high street in particular since the lockdown that began in March.