Choice rates After­pay for con­sumers

The Queensland Times - - NATION NEWS -

CON­SUMERS are be­ing warned not get them­selves in over their heads with a new pay­ment plan sys­tem.

After­pay, a sys­tem that al­lows con­sumers, more than one mil­lion in Aus­tralia, to buy and re­ceive goods and pay them off in eight equal pay­ments has ex­ploded in pop­u­lar­ity.

There are 7200 re­tail­ers on the After­pay plat­form in­clud­ing Jet­star, Myer, Of­fice­works, and Toys’R’Us.

The com­pany has spruiked it­self as a modern lay-by sys­tem pro­mot­ing re­spon­si­ble spend­ing.

But South Aus­tralia’s largest wel­fare lobby warned con­sumers not to spend money they did not have.

SA Coun­cil of So­cial Ser­vices chief ex­ec­u­tive Ross Womer­s­ley said: “It is just an­other means to get peo­ple ac­cess to credit when they may not have the means to find the money.”

But Ste­fanie Menezes, of con­sumer ad­vo­cate group Choice, said After­pay was bet­ter than some other op­tions.

“After­pay is a prefer­able ser­vice to pay day loans be­cause no in­ter­est is charged,” she said.

“This means you could pay off a $100 pair of jeans over eight weeks without pay­ing any­thing ex­tra.”

After­pay’s web­site shows cus­tomers can be charged $10 each time in­stal­ments are not hon­oured and $7 seven days af­ter the pay­ment is due if still un­paid.

After­pay ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor David Han­cock said re­tail­ers us­ing the sys­tem had an av­er­age limit per trans­ac­tion of about $150-$200.

After­pay is a prefer­able ser­vice to pay day loans be­cause no in­ter­est is charged.

— Ste­fanie Menezes, Choice

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