Everything you need to know about Latitude Pay: a review
Since Afterpay launched in 2014, a host of Buy Now Pay Later services have cropped up to get a taste of the lucrative market. Latitude Pay, a product offered by Latitude Finance, is the latest. In this article we will discuss it's strengths and weaknesses and what makes it different to its competitors.
What is Latitude Pay?
Latitude Pay is a Buy Now Pay Later service that allows you to split purchases into 10 weekly payments. Latitude Pay comes with an app to manage your repayments. As with other Buy Now Pay Later services, it offers interest free repayments and on the spot approval. Their website is low on details about credit limits and fees, so we will explore this further.
Who owns Latitude?
Latitude Finance was formerly known as GE Money. GE Money was the company behind Harvey Norman's interest free offers. GE garnered a poor reputation for sneaky tactics and high interest rates, as once the interest free period was over an interest rate of 30%pa kicked in. Despite this, the company was losing money before its sale and rebranding to Latitude Financial. The current owners are a consortium led by Deutsche Bank, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Varde Partners.
How does Latitude Pay make money?
As with other buy Now Pay Later services, Latitude Pay promises zero interest repayments. So how exactly do they make their money? A majority of their profits from the service are made from merchant fees. They also charge late payment fees, although these are capped at $50 per purchase. According to an interview with SMH, merchant fees for Latitude Pay are between 1% and 3%, which is lower than Afterpay's 4%. This makes it an attractive option for stores using the service, but how does it stack up for consumers? With low fees and a rewards program, it doesn't look too bad.
How does Latitude Pay work?
Latitude Pay works similarly to other Buy Now Pay Later services. You choose Latitude Pay as your payment method at checkout. You pay 10% of the purchase price upfront, then the rest of the purchase is paid off over 9 weeks, making 10 payments overall. That means that a $100 item will cost you $10/week for ten weeks from the time of purchase. Some people find this to be a useful budgeting tool.
Latitude Pay is another company making it easier to get the things you want without waiting - but what is the real cost?
How to use Latitude Pay
You sign up with some personal details. Upon starting an application you agree to a credit check. One you have been approved, you can start using the account to make purchases. At checkout, you select Latitude Pay as your payment method. If you are shopping online, you choose Latitude Pay as your payment method, it redirects you to their website where you login to your account to finalise your purchase. If you are using Latitude Pay instore, the cashier will create a payment plan for you on the spot using your name and phone number.
You pay 10% upfront, then the rest gets divided into 9 equal weekly repayments. You can manage your payments and purchases online.
Does Latitude Pay have an app?
Latitude Pay does not currently have an app. If you want to manage your repayments and account features you must logon via their website.
Is Latitude Pay the same as credit line?
Not quite. Credit line is a credit facility offered by Latitude Finance. It is essentially a credit card, with a few extra bells and whistles. Latitude Pay is a Buy Now Pay Later service, which is a whole different kettle of fish.
Is Latitude pay a credit card?
No, Latitude Pay is a Buy Now Pay Later service. It allows you to break purchases into 10 smaller payments. In order to use Latitude Pay you must have a valid credit or debit card as your payment method.
Which stores use Latitude Pay?
Latitude Pay is accepted in a range of major retailers. As they started out as in store finance for Harvey Norman, that is a big one for them. Below is a list of the most notable ones:
The Good Guys
Australian Skin Clinics
The list goes on. For a full list, head to their website.
Is Latitude pay like Afterpay?
Latitude Pay is similar to Afterpay but with a few differences. The big difference is that they split purchases into 10 weekly repayments rather than 4 fortnightly repayments. In my opinion this makes it a little easier to keep track of and work out what your repayments will be. The second difference, which may make it less desirable, is that Latitude Pay is only accepted in some stores, as opposed to Afterpay which is accepted almost universally.
Is Latitude Pay interest free?
If you use it correctly, Latitude Pay is interest free. However, if you connect a credit card, you may be charged cash advance rates, which can get expensive very quickly. You may also incur late fees if you do not have enough funds in your account when the payments are due.
Latitude Pay fees
Latitude Pay promises zero interest repayments, but they do have some fees, including late payment fees. A worrying report from some consumers is that they are being charged cash advance fees on their linked credit card. That means that if you use a credit card as your payment method, you may be hit with extremely high fees. Using a debit card is a good idea if you are considering using Latitude Pay.
Late fee: $10
Late fees are capped at $50
After missing 3 payments your credit limit will decrease.
Latitude Pay Special offers
One thing that makes Latitude Pay more attractive than Afterpay is the special offers for new users. Most of their biggest stores offer $10 - $25 off for new Latitude Pay customers. So, if you are planning on a big shopping spree, it might be worth your while to sign up for that alone. Head here for a proper list.
What is the initial Latitude Pay credit limit?
The initial credit limit for Latitude Pay is $350. The upper limit is $1000.
How to increase Latitude Pay credit limit
The only way to increase your Latitude Pay credit limit is to consistently make repayments on time. You are unable to apply for a credit limit increase with Latitude Pay.
Can I have more than one purchase on Latitude Pay at a time?
You can have up to 6 active purchases on Latitude Pay at any one time.
Does Latitude pay do a credit check?
Latitude Pay will perform a soft credit check upon application. In order to be approved, you need to have a reasonable credit score. This is slightly different to Afterpay, which only requires a valid debit or credit card to sign up.
Latitude Pay eligibility requirements
Do to be eligible for Latitude Pay you must:
Be 18 years old or over
Be An Australian resident or citizen
Have a valid debit or credit card
Have a reasonable credit rating
It doesn't state on their site what a reasonable credit rating is.
What is the upfront cost when buying with Latitude Pay?
When making a purchase with Latitude Pay you pay 10% of the cost upfront, then the rest of the purchase is split into 9 weekly repayments
Latitude Pay vs Afterpay
Latitude Pay has some different features to Afterpay that might make it a better option. One benefit is that it offers smaller, more frequent repayments. And whilst the late fees are the same, they are capped at a lower amount. One downside is that is offers a slightly lower credit limit of only $1000. It is also accepted less widely, which might be a problem for some consumers.
If you are looking to compare Buy Now Pay Later providers, have a look at this article I wrote earlier this year.
The Bottom Line
Latitude Finance are not upfront with their customers about fees. Neither are the upfront with their potential merchants. Compared to other Buy Now Pay Later merchants that I have researched, finding answers to questions about their fees was difficult. I would say that Latitude Pay is not as versatile as Afterpay, as it is accepted in less places. I do however like that it offers weekly repayments. As someone who budgets weekly, I would find that handy. However - I still think that budgeting and saving is the best option when making big purchases. If you want to get started with a savings plan, look no further than this article by yours truly. Happy saving!