Nearly half or 40 percent of respondents using buy now, pay later (BNPL) services in the Philippines said they use BNPL platforms for budget planning and management, according to financial technology firm UnaCash.

Based on an online survey of 115 UnaCash clients, users of other services and non-users, around 49.6 percent of respondents heard of or used BNPL services, while 37.4 percent have heard about BNPL services but have not used it as a payment method.

'Our findings highlight the calculated approach Filipinos take to manage their finances and practice good spending habits, and dispel the assumptions that BNPL is used for impulsive purchases,' UnaCash head of product Erwin Ocampo said in a statement.

'It also sheds light on the strategic adoption of BNPL among Filipino consumers, highlighting its role as a financial ally rather than a mere payment method,' he said.

Among respondents familiar with BNPL, 38 percent said they may use BNPL services monthly while 29 percent said they plan to use it at least once every six months. Meanwhile, 26 percent of respondents said they plan to use BNPL at least once a year.

Respondents cited several reasons why they use BNPL as a payment method. These include urgent need for a product but with lack of funds (37 percent), even distribution of expenses in the longer term (23 percent) and the convenience of using BNPL (20 percent).

Some respondents said they purchase products using BNPL and rely on future funds (13 percent) while others said they use BNPL for instant gratification of buying a high-value product (seven percent).

On the other hand, 53.3 percent of respondents who first learned about BNPL said they will consider using BNPL services on a monthly basis, which reflects an underlying interest in these services.

Almost all or 93.3 percent of respondents in the category are contemplating using BNPL as a payment solution for urgent purchases in case of insufficient funds (93.3 percent) and acquiring high-value items immediately without the need of saving in advance (40 percent).

Around 86.7 percent of respondents perceive BNPL as an effective budgeting tool despite having zero to limited experience in using this payment solution, UnaCash said.

'As BNPL continues to gain traction in the Philippines, it is clear that it can also be perceived as a safety net for unforeseen financial needs, aside from an effective planning and budgetary tool,' Ocampo added.

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