What buy now pay later (really) is

Consumers and retailers alike have long enjoyed the perks of payment plans disguised as flexible payment terms. What’s now a $100 billion USD industry, the buy now pay later (BNPL) movement has helped millions of shoppers worldwide finance their purchases on their own terms.

BNPL gives buyers the freedom to pay for something over a series of installments, and it earns merchants a sale they otherwise wouldn’t have made. Companies like Affirm, Afterpay, and Klarna, with a simple credit score check, guide customers through an effortless payment process that fits their needs.

Let’s face it — in our post-pandemic world, everyone could use a little grace. What’s made BNPL so popular is that it takes buyers’ unique financial needs into consideration, whether they need a little extra time or other payment methods. At the same time it gives suppliers peace of mind and steady cash flows.

Although the concept of payment plans isn’t new, it’s taken a shift in buying habits and new technologies to push the envelope in new spaces like wholesale. Because really, it shouldn’t matter if you’re buying one item or 1,000. With BNPL, purchasing wholesale is easier for everyone.

BNPL for wholesale: Shop now, pay over time

Traditionally, buying wholesale has been all or nothing. With larger quantities at stake, wholesalers have much more skin in the game when it comes to defaults, so buyers are left with only one option: to pay upfront.

This is commonly known as due upon receipt invoicing. As its name implies, this type of invoicing calls for payment to be made as soon as an invoice is received. Some businesses require the full amount of an invoice to be paid upfront, but many do not. And despite being somewhat of the gold standard for wholesale invoicing, due upon receipt can create all sorts of problems for everyone.

Buyers who are otherwise financially solid may dip into negative cash flows or fail to pay on time, incurring unwanted late fees. In turn, suppliers suffer from unpredictable debts. What’s left is an unnecessarily wide gap in the market. Two parties — a willing buyer and a credible wholesaler — have a legitimate business exchange opportunity. But one or multiple factors (such as time or availability of cash) stop the exchange from ever happening.

BNPL for wholesale: Shop now, pay over time

The good news is this is no longer the case. Wholesalers looking to grow their business are implementing BNPL solutions with embedded net terms to give buyers more time and ways to pay and an experience that more closely meets their unique financial needs. Plus, wholesale businesses can secure a legitimate cash flow they otherwise would have lost out on.

Wholesale buy now pay later is exactly what it sounds like: buy what you need now and pay for it over time. But BNPL for wholesale is more nuanced than its retail counterpart, since buying for a business is a little different from buying for yourself. (You can’t always “treat yo self.”) Wholesale purchases often involve multiple invoices, varying cash flows, and buying teams larger than one person with a debit or credit card.

This is where net terms come in. An ideal BNPL solution for wholesale would employ 30, 60, or 90 day net terms invoicing with little or no interest. Buyers would be vetted nearly instantly with quiet credit checks, and wholesalers would be paid as soon as a customer is approved. More ideally, all payments (whether net terms or due upon receipt) would live in a single, automated platform.

Is this all really possible? Let’s consider some factors like flexibility, ease of use, and low interest or fees, and see how Resolve stacks up for buyers and merchants.

Payment terms on your terms

Think about the last few times you bought something online. Was there a buy now pay later option? Perhaps the Affirm or Afterpay logos were displayed next to the checkout button. Maybe you even felt a sense of relief before submitting payment (consciously or not) knowing you had a few options.

BNPL is a symbol of trust as much as it is a digitized layaway plan. With it, merchants can reliably bestow trust upon their customers in exchange for their purchase and goodwill. Call us romantics, but it’s big-hearted business at its core.

Resolve is made up of big hearts and bold minds who are changing the way businesses interact with our leading B2B payments and credit management platform. We help merchants like wholesalers deliver a truly enjoyable experience to their buyers, who in turn gain a world of flexibility and ease from a payment process that fits their business.

Here’s why both buyers and merchants win with Resolve’s buy now pay later wholesale experience.

For buyers

Buying wholesale has never been easier than it is with Resolve. For teams of ten or 10,000, Resolve helps businesses buy what they need now and pay for it over 30-90 days with no interest or fees. Here’s how it works.

It starts with a simple application. Within hours (while Resolve works quietly in the background), buyers get approved for capital and suppliers get paid up to 90% upfront so everyone’s cash flows stay positive.

Buyers can optimize their purchase flows with a personalized experience that handles multiple accounts, invoices, and team members — whatever their business needs. And as long as they pay within the designated terms, there are no fees or interest. (That’s right. None.)

For wholesalers

Any wholesaler that cares about tapping new markets, more customers, and bigger revenues should think about offering BNPL to buyers. To do so requires a smart and flexible solution with the right B2B payments processing partner.

Take Resolve customer GoMaterials, for example. GoMaterials handles wholesale plant and tree sourcing, across the United States and Canada, for landscaping projects totaling millions of dollars annually. Before expanding its operations, the wholesaler needed a way to offer net terms in a buy now pay later style experience.

With Resolve, GoMaterials substantially increased its volume of transactions, quantity of suppliers, and number of customers. It also saw a significant increase in contract size with the expanded customer base. What’s more, GoMaterials gained an all-in-one platform that combines checkout, invoicing, credit, and relevant A/R notifications like reminders.

The moral of the story is that BNPL gives wholesalers access to new markets, customers, and revenue, and it gives wholesale buyers various payment options and a better overall experience

Resolve is your buy now pay later partner

We reimagined B2B commerce and invoicing so wholesalers can accept payments on their own terms and buyers can enjoy the ease and flexibility of a single platform for all invoicing workflows, whether net terms or due upon receipt.

But Resolve is more than a platform. We’re your go-to payments partner, your credit team on tap, and we’re backed by the best - PayPal’s founder Max Levchin. We are the B2B spinout of Affirm. We’re here to make your payments (and your life) that much easier.

Learn more about modernizing your B2B payments experience with Resolve.