Buy now, pay later: The future of shopping in an economic crisis?

The region’s e-commerce landscape pivots to respond to shoppers who have been squeezed financially
Buy now, pay later: The future of shopping in an economic crisis?

Could we be owning the latest Bottega without paying upfront? Shoes, Bottega Veneta Dhs4,600 at OunassBag, Bottega Veneta Dhs12,550 at Ounass

What makes online shopping a breeze? Easily searchable products, practically zero queues and fast check-out. But with  COVID-19 prompting billions of job losses and pay cuts worldwide, many opt to skip spending altogether...

Which is why Ounass, the Middle East's luxury portal, decided to offer something of a solution. Since its launch, Ounass has been at the forefront of innovation, think eco-friendly packaging, fast delivery, personal styling, or the region's first virtual boutique.

It's no surprise that during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's no different. After establishing extreme sanitary measures, including the cleansing of parcels and contactless delivery, Ounass has now introduced installment plans. 

The buy-now, pay-later formula converts the cost of your purchase into monthly installments via partnering banks. This means customers can shop items without paying all at once when they check out.

Here's how it works. First, credit card details are requested at the check-out. If the customer's bank offers installment payment, the option will pop up below the card details. Next, the customer selects a plan from the drop down. 

It will take a total of five to seven days for a purchase to appear on the credit card statement. When the installment plan is converted, the bank will also confirm via text message.

Should there be any cancellation, Ounass will refund the complete order amount to the bank. To opt out of the installment plan, you need to contact your bank directly. Before making a purchase, it's recommended to double check whether the processing fee is returnable upon cancellation.

Purchases made on installment can be tracked by visiting the Order Details page on the Ounass app, or website, while selected installment plans can be viewed under Payment Information.

A word from our Editor-in-Chief Alison Tay: "Adapting to our new sets of circumstances, seeing an opportunity, providing options, offering flexibility, and finding a solution is the way that businesses will emerge stronger and more streamlined post-pandemic. My two cents for those under financial pressure right now - myself included - is always shop responsibly and spend within your means where you can." 

Installment plans are only available on orders placed in the UAE and KSA. For more information, visit

Photo: Supplied