Afterpay; Yay or Nay?

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Do you ever have a hard, long week at university, fed up with the first years’ enthusiasm, the overpriced parking, and less-than-tolerable coffee, having managed to do (the bare minimum) work for all your subjects and think, “You know what? TREAT YOSELFFF!”, only to look at your bank balance and think, “Lol jk, never mind”? Well, had you not already discovered it, boy, have I got the solution for you.

Afterpay.

I always want to be putting my best-dressed foot forward when I come to class, but let’s face it, with what bank balance? Studying does limit the time I have for work, the time I have to earn some cash, and subsequently, the amount of cash I have for my wardrobe. Afterpay is an application offering a payment method that allows you to pay for your online purchases after receiving them, having you pay in weekly or biweekly instalments. And it’s not just for clothes, either. Sports, entertainment, pets, flights and craft are just some of the categories they offer, as well as food and beverage realtors like T2, Fressko, and The Healthy Mummy.

The payment application, launched in 2014, gained my membership recently when I really, really wanted a pair of pants that I refused to buy in one hit, for fear of my wallet never forgiving me. [They were $160… I know; ridiculous…They’re my favourite pants now though.] So, yeah, I indulged in it, and after a positive experience and consequent temptation to return, I’m glad they limit their customers.

Afterpay has a limit of $1000 if you are linking a credit card for your re-payments. If you are using a debit card, you will have a limit $500.

Otherwise it’s spend-galore.

What’s the catch? Well, pay on time or incur a fee.

If a deduction from your account is unsuccessful, you will be notified and you will have a chance to log in and choose a different payment method. The reminders I received via both email and text saved me from forgetting about my weekly instalments (those damn pants), otherwise I’d have incurred a $10 late fee. If you fail to make a payment within seven days, you’ll be charged a further $7.

It’s not as if they solely seek bunce from the financially disorganised. Profit is made through the companies with which they’re paired.

Merchants are charged 30 cents plus commission for every transaction they make via Afterpay. The commission ranges from 4 to 6 per cent. Although Afterpay is a lay-buy service, merchants receive immediate payment minus the commission and flat fee of 30 cents. “Afterpay is geared around financially healthy customers with responsible spending patterns and customer loyalty.” (Afterpay website) So if you just read that and thought, “Yikes, not me,” maybe don’t download it, hey.

Afterpay’s Fact Sheet can be accessed here.

“We created Afterpay to help Australians budget for life’s little extras without needing to enter into a traditional loan or credit product.” (Afterpay website)

Deakin students weighed in on the topic via Facebook:

 “It helps to buy bigger things, that I could never afford otherwise. But it definitely does prey on people who struggle to save money/struggle with credit card debt, but that’s no different to banks and their credit cards. In terms of paying back the money, they give you all the opportunity to be aware with emails/text messages so you can’t say they take advantage of late payment fees. Overall it’s great but in moderation (like everything)”, says student, Lucy Abbott.

“I find it really helpful with big items like my car battery or text books or if I need to spoil myself for getting a good grade as it allows me to spread the repayments over 4 pay periods. I set myself a limit so I don’t overspend. Been using it for over a year now and have had no issues,” reassures student, Eliesha Hill.

It’s not always coming up Milhouse though; even my friends with full-time jobs err on the side of caution with this, somewhat addictive, spending app.

“It’s good as long as you spend within your means. There’s a lot of people who buy on it and later have a debt, similar to a credit card basically,” says Jennifer McKenzie.

“I end up making more impulse purchases than I would without it being there… If you’re somewhat financially disciplined I think Afterpay can be a great tool.” Jordan Daniel Charquero

“Love it but it’s a trap.You get sucked in to buy stuff and then all of a sudden you’re $800 deep in new bed sheets,” says Hannah Shanks-Cola.

And Zahra Zarrs warns, “Don’t get sucked into the trap of buying stuff you don’t actually need. Or things that are out of your price range.”

I would not be surprised if students are actually statistically the main users of Afterpay, though, when contacted for comment, Communications Teams were “unable to contribute at this time”. 

So basically, if you’ve no self control, avoid it; like they did my emails. Otherwise, it’s time to TREAT YOSELF (just be ready to pay up when the time comes).

 

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