BNPL (buy-now-pay-later) platforms let you purchase products in installments. They have become increasingly popular, with Klarna, Afterpay, Affirm, PayPal, and more garnering some 45 million users for BNPL solutions in 2021. However, returning items purchased through a BNPL platform can be difficult.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Consumer Finance Institute says 10 percent of BNPL users reported difficulty making returns. LendingTree chief credit analyst Matt Schulz told reporters, “Since they’re so new, the process isn’t quite down to a science.” In the meantime, here’s how to get a refund with each major BNPL platform.
How to get a refund with Klarna
Klarna processes refunds within four days. The refund depends on how much you have already paid. The store processes a refund to Klarna, which then refunds you in part or full.
If you purchase a product with the Klarna Card, the refund amount will be deducted from upcoming payments.
To start a return, go to your "orders" page. Choose the purchase or item you want to return and click "report return." You will need your tracking information to do this. You may be able to return online orders to a physical store but will need to keep proof of the return.
How to return with Afterpay
Afterpay returns are subject to the policies for individual merchants. Refunds are applied to payments in reverse order (starting with the final payment and working backward). You may receive a partial or full refund depending on how much you’ve paid.
Afterpay adds, “Until the refund is confirmed and processed by the merchant, your original Payment Schedule with Afterpay will continue.”
You can start a return through the Afterpay app or return products in-store if you used Afterpay Card to purchase.
How to get a refund with Affirm
Affirm requires users to request refunds directly through merchants where they bought the item. The merchant will then refund Affirm, which applies the refund amount to the user’s loan timeline within 3–10 business days. Your payment balance will reflect the refund.
Most people receive a refund digitally, but some may receive a check if the refund occurs more than 180 days after the original payment or your payment method is closed or not available.
To find your refund, visit the "pay" button on your Affirm app. Click "purchases" and look for the refund as an adjustment in your purchase details.
How to get a refund with PayPal Pay in 4
PayPal Pay in 4 offers purchase protection for all purchases. However, returns may still occur. To do this, contact the retailer or service provider in store or online. The decision to refund your purchase is up to each merchant’s return policy.
The merchant will refund PayPal, who then refunds Pay in 4 users by first crediting upcoming payments and then returning remaining funds if applicable.
Ultimately, your refund amounts for any BNPL platform depends on the merchant's return policy, the payments you've already made, and how much you still owe on BNPL loans.