Is Layby dead? How new payment methods are changing our shopping habits

Keen shoppers Jenny Pratten and Brittney McGill. Photo: Megan Dunn
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With the introduction of buy now, pay later options, payment methods like Afterpay and zipPay have exploded with consumers, but does it spell the end for the traditional option of Layby?

A poll conducted in online local community groups showed that 78 per cent of people would pick Afterpay as their top choice for a buy now, pay later option.

Mum of two from Glenmore Park, Brittney McGill said it is the most efficient method for her.

“I use Afterpay that regularly that I could say I have a problem, but it really is the most efficient for me especially if it is a large amount on the spot,” she said.

“I work long hours and my daughter does a lot of dancing, so I don’t even have time to go to the shops but shopping online is so easy.”

Ms McGill admitted the thought of using these services affecting her credit score has worried her, but said the convenience will make it continue to grow in popularity. Banks also keep an eye on usage of such services when assessing loan applications.

“I do worry about it affecting my credit, but I try to keep on top of it and I’ve never fallen behind, and I make sure I live within my means,” Ms McGill said.

“I think Afterpay will take over Layby because people are impatient and want their product now and that’s the thing, you can have it now and pay it off later but with Layby you have to wait.”

Jenny Pratten, a mother of four from South Penrith, still believes that there will always be a need for Layby, which major retailers still offer as an option.

“There will definitely always be people using Layby, especially the six months before Christmas which are the most popular,” Ms Pratten said.

“I don’t think there is any of the mums at the school that I know that don’t have a Layby on for Christmas right now especially with all the toy sales.”

Ms Pratten thinks the different options are more convenient and safer in the long run for people who are conscious about their spending habits.

“I go for Layby because you can choose the amount you want to pay and extend it if you need more time, plus I can plan ahead then not have to store presents at my house since they hold them,” Ms Pratten said.

“There is so much talk about Afterpay and the like stuffing up your credit rating which worries me.”

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