Buy Now, Pay Later Changed Retail. Health Care And Rent Are Next.

Last March, in the midst of a nationwide lockdown that left millions out of work, the residents of Wasatch Property Management’s apartment complexes were presented with a solution to the impending problem of rent. It came from a little cartoon woman named Penny featured on Wasatch’s Facebook page. Through an app called Flex, Penny explained, tenants could pay rent in installments throughout the month, rather than a lump sum at the month’s start. “Have you ever gotten yourself in a small financial pinch or maybe even had to pay a late fee on your rent?” Penny asked. “Because let’s face it, life happens!” The cartoon went on, explaining that her payday falls on the 15th of the month, and Flex allowed her to budget rent into “small, stress-free payments.” The downside, which was left out of the video, is that tenants are charged a $20 monthly fee to use Flex. Online, some have compared the service to Afterpay, a point-of-sale lending service that provides shoppers the option to split their purchases across several payments. Read more at Vox.