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Pay in 4

‘Pay in 4′ is a financing option that allows customers to purchase items and pay for them in four equal payments over a six-week period. The first payment is made at the time of the transaction, and the rest are typically collected every two weeks. Pay in 4 can be a convenient option for those who want to make a big purchase but may not have the funds available at the time of purchase. It is a form of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL).

A Pay in 4 solution can be implemented at your checkout by using a retail finance provider. It’s offered by some of the most well-known companies in the BNPL sector. Increasingly, providers are also allowing consumers to purchase from a retailer using Pay in 4 without the retailer embedding the payment method on their website. Zilch, for example, enables purchases from within the Zilch app or by using a Zilch card. This makes Pay in 4 accessible at any merchant checkout.

What are the benefits of Pay in 4?

Pay in 4 is a win-win for consumers and merchants. Let’s start with consumer benefits:


One of the main benefits of the Pay in 4 option is that it allows customers to spread out the cost of their purchase over a longer period of time. This can make the purchase more affordable and manageable for consumers. It also allows consumers to purchase items that they may not have been able to afford if they had to pay for them all at once.

Low-cost alternative to credit cards

Pay in 4 can also help customers avoid high-interest credit card debt. Many credit cards come with high interest rates (the UK average is around 22%), which can make it difficult for customers to pay off their balances. With Pay in 4, customers can make their payments over a longer period without incurring high-interest charges.

Ease of use

The Pay in 4 option is also very easy to use. Customers can simply choose to Pay in 4 at the checkout, fill in a short application, and receive their item right away. The payments will be automatically charged to the customer’s account over the next six weeks. Customers can usually track their payments and manage their account online, and they will typically receive text message and email reminders about upcoming payments, making it easy to stay on top of their purchase.


Another benefit of the Pay in 4 option is that it can be used for a wide range of items including electronics, home goods, fashion, and even travel. This means that customers can use the option for various purchases, whatever industry you operate in, making it a versatile option for customers to choose from.

Merchant benefits

Merchants, meanwhile, benefit in the following ways:

Increased sales

One of the main benefits of Pay in 4 to merchants is that it can be used to increase sales. By offering the option to Pay in 4, merchants may be able to attract customers who might not have been able to afford their products otherwise. This can lead to an increase in revenue and new customers for the merchant.

Loyalty boost

Another benefit for merchants is that the Pay in 4 option can help increase customer loyalty. Customers who are able to make a purchase using the Pay in 4 option may be more likely to return to the merchant’s store in the future, since they know they have a financing option available to them. This can incentivise repeat business for the merchant.

Increased average order value

The Pay in 4 option can also help merchants increase their average order value. Customers who are given the option to pay in instalments may be more likely to add additional items to their cart, since they know they can spread the cost out over a longer period of time. This can help increase the overall value of the customer’s purchase and can lead to increased revenue for the merchant.

Potential drawbacks

Despite the many benefits of the Pay in 4 option, there are drawbacks to consider.

Consumers may be tempted to make larger purchases than they can afford, since they are able to spread the cost out over a longer period of time. Overextending can lead to missed payments and defaults, which can have serious consequences on your customer’s financial wellbeing. This is bad for your customers, which means it’s also bad for your business if managed incorrectly.

Pay in 4 fees can also be high. Transaction fees are between 2% and 8%, and there are also monthly licensing fees and an initial setup fee to consider. Implemented incorrectly, and Pay in 4 can be costly for your business. (That’s if you choose to implement it, of course. As mentioned, there are providers that enable Pay in 4 via their own apps and cards.)

Pay in 4 is not for everyone. It’s important for you to think carefully about whether Pay in 4 suits your products, values, and your customers.

The bottom line

Pay in 4 can be a convenient and affordable financing option for your customers. It allows customers to spread out the cost of their purchase over a longer period of time and can help them avoid high-interest credit card debt.

In doing so, it can increase sales, customer loyalty, and average order values.

However, the drawbacks can be significant. It’s important to manage your solution correctly and communicate any potential issues to your customers.

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