American Express partners with Opy for its first third-party ‘buy now, pay later’ agreement

Marianne Wilson
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American Express card
American Express has entered into an agreement with Opy to offer installment payment options to participating health care and auto repair/maintenance merchants. 

American Express is diving deeper into the fast-growing — and competitive — “buy now, pay later” arena.

Opy, the U.S. subsidiary of Australian fintech company Openpay, has entered into an agreement with American Express to allow its U.S. cardmembers to pay in installments with participating merchants in health care and auto repair/maintenance via Opy's 2.0 version of BNPL, which it calls “buy now, pay smarter.”   

The fixed-fee  payment solution  covers purchases up to  $20,000 with plans as long as 24 months —  longer than the shorter-term installations offered by such  BNPL companies as Klarna, Afterpay and Affirm.

American Express said will help support merchants in these industries who are interested in offering the new solution by introducing them to Opy's team.  The credit card giant already offers its own BNPL solution, called Plan It, which allows members to put up to 10 qualifying purchases of $100 or more into a “plan.

“We are constantly striving to drive additional value to our card members and merchants," said Colleen Taylor, American Express president of merchant services – U.S. "With Opy, we are pleased to offer another payment option for customers who make and accept larger healthcare, auto repair and maintenance purchases." 

BNPL is growing rapidly, both in terms of its usage by consumers and in the number of retailers and other entities offering BNPL services. According to a recent study from Juniper Research, spending via BNPL services will reach $995 billion in 2026, up from $266 billion in 2021. By 2026,  BNPL services are expected to account for over 24% of global e-commerce transactions for physical goods by value, from 9% in 2021.

In September, Mastercard unveiled a feature called “Mastercard Installments” for U.S., Australian and U.K. markets, which will go live in the first quarter of next year. It will allow banks and start-ups to ramp up their own “buy now, pay later” offers.