Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
Food delivery app, Deliveroo, has been criticised for introducing a buy now pay later option.
The takeaway outlet recently introduced Klarna as a payment method, meaning people don’t have to immediately fork out for the food they order.
Instead, they can pay in 30 days time if they wish, or cut the cost down into three spaced out instalments if the order is over £30.
There aren’t any upfront interest or fees involved either, so you don’t have to pay any more to delay it.
But people said the app shouldn’t be encouraging shoppers to order one when they can’t afford it, ultimately risking ending up in debt for the sake of a treat, rather than a necessity.
Martin Lewis was one such critic.
The Money Saving Expert said: “Do you really need pump debt as a way to pay for takeaways?
“Buy Now Pay Later may seem innocuous but it is 1) Not yet regulated 2) Debt, even if done right its 0 percent”
Dear @Deliveroo do you really need pump debt as a way to pay for takeaways?
Buy Now Pay Later may seem innocuous but it is 1) Not yet regulated 2) Debt, even if done right its 0%
Borrowing should only be if NEEDED, for planned one off budgeted purchase, not a cheeky nandos.
— Martin Lewis (@MartinSLewis) October 12, 2022
Lewis added that it was a slippery slope that people should be wary of, explaining: “Borrowing should only be if NEEDED, for planned one off budgeted purchase, not a cheeky Nandos.”
“This is a terrible idea,” echoed somebody else on Twitter.
Whilst another branded the move “unethical and dangerous”.
“What stage of Normalising Food Poverty are we at now?,” sarcastically wrote a third.
As a fourth said: “I don’t know who needs to hear this but if you haven’t got the money for a take away you really shouldn’t be making your struggles worse with Klarna.”
There were some who were in favour of the idea, though.
“Don’t really get the fuss over Klarna being available on Deliveroo,” said one. “Providing poorer people with access to small amounts of cheap credit for a treat (or even groceries) is a good thing imo. It’s up to people to use it responsibly, but I’d rather have the option than not.”
Klarna may not charge for late fees, but failing to pay in time can affect your credit rating, and debt collection agencies can be contacted after a certain amount of time.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Carlo Mocci, Chief Business Officer at Deliveroo, said: “Deliveroo offers amazing choice to our customers, from neighbourhood eateries and your weekday lunch to a Saturday night celebration.
“Millions of people are already choosing Klarna and we’re giving customers more choice and more flexibility with a safe, secure way to pay online.”
Meanwhile, David Sykes, Chief Commercial Officer at Klarna, said: “Deliveroo provides a great service to households, and that’s why we’re excited to offer our alternative payment options to Deliveroo customers.“We believe you should only pay for what you buy with no interest or fees, and it’s never been more important for consumers to have access to payment options which help them stay in control of their finances.”