New 'buy now, pay later' services like Afterpay and Zip have helped bring more people into some retail shops in Wagga ahead of Christmas but there can be downsides for customers and businesses.
S & D Living owner Shelia Reynolds said the services, which promoted themselves as having no upfront fees and the ability to split payments over weeks or months, had been popular with customers.
"They payment services can be very helpful over Christmas when people have a lot of bills coming in," she said.
"The difference with lay-buy is you would always have to ask people 'Do you want lay-buy?' but now you have customers coming in and the first thing they ask is; do you have Afterpay or Zip?"
"A lot of younger people are using Afterpay or Zip with their purchase."
Ms Reynolds said the main disadvantage for businesses was that services like Afterpay took seven per cent of the purchase as their cost.
"If the item is already on sale, losing that amount of the total can really cut into the profit margin," she said.
Wagga AKW financial adviser Julian McLaren said people who used services like Afterpay had to keep in mind that missing payments could damage their chances of getting a mortgage as well as incurring late fees.
"Banks are looking very carefully at people's spending habits, including their use of credit services like Afterpay, and there have been some pretty bizarre stories about the transactions they have asked people about," he said.
"I think people have to be cautious about what they are spending before applying for a bank loan."
Mr McLaren said the safest way to pay for something was to resist the payment services' sales pitch of "instant gratification".
"At the end of the day, people need to budget properly and if they can't afford something, they probably should reconsider whether to purchase it using a short term credit facility like Afterpay," he said.
"It's about saving the money for about another month or two and delaying that gratification."
Exploit Skateboarding owner Dwanye Bolton said Afterpay and Zip now made up between five and six per cent of his sales, which he said was "significant" to his store.
"I think the payment services can get people to spend a bit more," he said.
"If people come in intending to spend $200 or $300, they can find that they can increase their budget by spreading out the payments.
"It can also convince people to buy from the store instead of online when they find out we have Afterpay."
Mr Bolton said his main issue with the payment services was their cut of the sale.
"Unless they extra amount that people spend is substantially more than the seven per cent fee, we're just giving money away," he said.
"That's the bet we make."
Though Afterpay and Zip are seen by many business analysts as targeting 'millennial' generation shoppers, Mr Bolton said the services were also popular with parents.
"I have heard of teenagers having to exclude themselves from the services after making thousands of dollars in purchases in a year," he said.