Home | Browse Topics | Consumer rights & money | Consumer protection | Buy now, pay later sales

Consumer rights & money

Chapters in this topic

Different payment methods

Buy now, pay later sales

What is buy now, pay later?

Buy now, pay later is a payment method that lets you buy an item and pay after receiving it, without any interest added to the amount you owe. Some examples of buy now, pay later schemes are Afterpay, Humm, PartPay and Laybuy.com.

You have to sign up to use these services and some conditions apply, such as being 18 years or over.

Buy now, pay later sales are different from:

  •  a layby sale because you get the item as soon as you make the first payment
  • a credit sale because no interest is charged.

How does a buy now, pay later sale work?

Usually, at the time of the sale, you would pay for a percentage of the item, and the buy now, pay later company would pay the store the remaining cost. You’d then pay the buy now, pay later company the rest of the cost in instalments. These companies make money from their charges to the retailers.

Can I cancel a buy now, pay later sale?

Since you’ve legally bought the goods, you can’t cancel the sale once you have made that first payment. Payments are not flexible like laybys. Instead, you’ll have a locked in payment schedule (usually weekly or fortnightly) and payments might be automatically deducted from your account.

If you miss a payment, penalties will usually apply. If you have issues making repayments, we recommend you speak to a financial advisor (see: “Where to go for more support” at the bottom of this page).

What fees will I be charged?

While there are no interest charges, the catch is that if you miss a payment, default fees are charged. The fee is the same regardless of the cost of the item, and there may be further fees for amounts that aren’t paid within seven days.

Below is a table comparing the different types of buy now, pay later schemes, and the different charges that apply.


Maximum limit

Repayments details

Late fees



Depends on your repayment history

4 equal payments due fortnightly





10 weekly instalments


Humm (big things)



Up to 24 months to pay fortnightly


Humm (little things)



5 equal payments due fortnightly or weekly in 10




Depends on your repayment history

6 weekly automatic payments



Interest free for 3 months from purchase then charged interest at 19.9%


Monthly- minimum payment of $40 or 3% of your balance owing- whichever is greater





4 equal payments due fortnightly


Credit contracts

What are credit contracts?

Credit contracts are agreements when you buy something, and you don’t have to pay immediately, but you’ll get to take it home or have it delivered straight away. You can delay payment by either agreeing to pay interest (in other words, pay more than the original price at a later date) or provide a security interest over the item (this means the seller could repossess it from you if you don’t pay the debt in full). This includes when you use a credit card or when you buy goods and services on a hire purchase agreement.

You may agree to a credit contract when you purchase a good online, in store or from a mobile trader. Mobile traders are people who sell goods in person but don’t have a fixed location (for example, selling goods from a trading van).
If you’re buying something on credit for your personal use, you’ll have rights under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003. This Act sets out certain rules and obligations for lenders. For more information, see: “Credit and Debt”.

Next Section | Buying a motor vehicle

Did this answer your question?

Consumer protection

Where to go for more support

Legal information and support groups

Community Law

Your local Community Law Centre can provide you with free initial legal advice.

Find your local Community Law Centre online: www.communitylaw.org.nz/our-law-centres

Consumer Protection

The Consumer Protection website has useful information on a range of consumer topics. Consumer Protection is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE).

Website: www.consumerprotection.govt.nz
Email: cpinfo@mbie.govt.nz
Phone: 0508 426 678 (0508 4 CONSUMER)

Consumer NZ

The Consumer NZ website provides a wide range of information on consumer issues and template letters you can use to write to traders to enforce your rights.

Website: www.consumer.org.nz
Email: info@consumer.org.nz
Phone: 0800 226 786 (0800 CONSUMER)

Commerce Commission

The Commerce Commission enforces the laws against misleading and deceptive conduct by traders (the Fair Trading Act) and the consumer credit legislation (the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act). The Commission provides information on these areas on its website.

Website: www.comcom.govt.nz
Email: contact@comcom.govt.nz
Phone: 0800 688 5463

To make a complaint online: comcom.govt.nz/make-a-complaint
To read consumer rights in different languages: comcom.govt.nz/consumers/read-about-your-consumer-rights-and-business-responsibilities-in-another-language

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)

CAB provides free, confidential and independent information and advice.  See CAB’s website for valuable information on a range of topics.

Website: www.cab.org.nz
Phone: 0800 367 222
Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/citizensadvicenz

Find your local CAB office: www.cab.org.nz/find-a-cab

Product safety

This agency oversees the safety of consumer products that are not food, medicines or road vehicles. Their website has information for consumers about safety standards, product recalls and using products safely.

Website: www.productsafety.govt.nz
Email: cpinfo@mbie.govt.nz
Phone: 0508 627 774

Products recalled: www.productsafety.govt.nz/recalls

FinCap and Money Talks

FinCap is a non-government organisation providing free financial mentoring services.

Website: www.fincap.org.nz
Email: kiaora@fincap.org.nz
Phone: 04 471 1420

MoneyTalks is a financial capability helpline operated by FinCap. The Financial Mentors offer free, confidential advice by phone, text, email and live chat.

Email: help@moneytalks.co.nz
Phone: 0800 345 123
Text: 4029
Live chat: www.moneytalks.co.nz

Motor Vehicle Traders Register

Before purchasing off a motor vehicle trader, check if they are registered.

Website: www.motortraders.med.govt.nz
Phone: 0508 MOTOR TRADERS (0508 668 678)

Buying a car privately

Search the PPSR register to see if there is any security interest registered against a vehicle. This can be done for a small fee by registering to check online

Website: www.ppsr.companiesoffice.govt.nz

Check to make sure a car that you’re considering buying hasn’t been listed with the police as stolen.

Website: www.police.govt.nz/stolenwanted/stolen-vehicles

Other tips for buying a car privately from YouthLaw: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK8irFAn1as


Disputes Tribunal

The Disputes Tribunal can deal with claims up to the value of $30,000.  It is less formal than a court and cheaper.

Website: www.disputestribunal.govt.nz/about-2
Phone: 0800 COURTS

Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal

The Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal can deal with claims up to the value of $100,000.  It can only deal with disputes relating to registered traders (or those that should be registered).

Website: www.justice.govt.nz/tribunals/motor-vehicle-dealer-disputes
Phone: 0800 268 787

Dispute Resolution Schemes

There are four dispute resolution schemes for consumers dealing with lenders and other credit providers. Contact the scheme your service provider has registered with.

  1. Financial Services Complaints

Website: fscl.org.nz
Phone: 0800 347 257
Participants list: fscl.org.nz/search-financial-service-providers 

  1. Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman

Website: www.ifso.nz
Phone: 0800 888 202
Participants list: www.ifso.nz/complaints#find-a-participant

  1. Banking Ombudsman

Website: www.bankomb.org.nz
Phone: 0800 805 950
Participants list: bankomb.org.nz/the-complaint-process/bank-participant

  1. Financial Dispute Resolution Service

Website: www.fdrs.org.nz
Phone: 0508 337 337
Participants list: fdrs.org.nz/become-a-scheme-member/scheme-member-search

Utilities Disputes Commissioner

The Commissions helps with complaints about electricity, gas, water and some fibre services.

Website: www.udl.co.nz
Phone: 0800 22 33 40

Participants list: www.udl.co.nz/making-a-complaint/complaint-form

Also available as a book

The Community Law Manual

The Manual contains over 1000 pages of easy-to-read legal info and comprehensive answers to common legal questions. From ACC to family law, health & disability, jobs, benefits & flats, Tāonga Māori, immigration and refugee law and much more, the Manual covers just about every area of community and personal life.

Buy The Community Law Manual

Help the manual

We’re a small team that relies on the generosity of all our supporters. You can make a one-off donation or become a supporter by sponsoring the Manual for a community organisation near you. Every contribution helps us to continue updating and improving our legal information, year after year.

Donate Become a Supporter

Find the Answer to your Legal Question

back to top