Smart BNPL: Where personalization meets functionality 

Originally introduced as an alternative payment method, BNPL offerings have evolved into sophisticated financial tools, reshaping the dynamics of consumer spending. Consumers now seek flexibility, convenience, and financial empowerment in purchasing decisions. As a result, the concept of “Smart BNPL” is emerging within the financial space, emphasizing the importance of banks and card issuers meeting consumer demand and offering personalized credit options. This article explores how financial institutions can embrace the trend, where personalization and functionality converge to create a truly customized lending experience.

Personalization as the cornerstone

Smart BNPL revolves around personalization, recognizing that consumers are not one homogenous group. According to Visa Insights, 66% of consumers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations. Meanwhile, 58% of digital consumers are prone to use new payment methods such as BNPL. With the increased awareness of financial needs and wants, consumers are demanding tailored credit options that harmonize with their specific lifestyles and financial circumstances.

According to Forrester research, “Customers patience with banks that fail to deliver personalized experiences is wearing thin”. Offering personalized BNPL options and improving value proposition thus becomes a necessity for banks and card issuers wanting to maintain competitiveness. Not only does it allow them to understand each customer’s unique financial needs, preferences, and capabilities, but the tailored approach goes beyond traditional credit models, fostering a more loyalty-driven and effective interaction between financial institutions and their customers.

Empowering responsible financial behaviour

Besides understanding each consumer’s specific needs and preferences, Smart BNPL services empower consumers to make responsible financial decisions. For example, with integrated Solution modules from Sileon, banks and card issuers can leverage sophisticated algorithms and data analytics in real time and conduct eligibility checks to target and/or exclude certain transactions based on factors such as amount, merchant segment, and merchant ID. A bank can also adjust BNPL offers through different fees, interest rates and lengths of instalment plans based on individual financial capabilities.

By creating a variety of BNPL offers adjusted to fit different customer segments, campaigns, and tiers, banks can give customers offers that align with their financial goals. This approach helps prevent excessive debt and fosters a sense of financial responsibility among consumers, contributing to a healthier financial ecosystem.

Embracing Smart BNPL: Banks route to customer loyalty and revenue growth

Although banks have increasingly started to embrace the BNPL trend and initiate the development of their own card-linked BNPL solutions, the percentage is still low, with many facing severe revenue loss and business opportunities if they decide not to compete in the BNPL space.

On the other hand, banks who do attempt to build a BNPL platform on their own are often faced with the same result: a static product that serves only one purpose – either a postponement of the due date or a simple instalment with a mediocre customer experience.

As internal solutions often lack the flexibility and scalability required to compete effectively in the growing BNPL market, strategic partnerships with BNPL software suppliers become increasingly important. Not only to quickly adapt to the changing financial system and legal requirements but also to cost- and time effectively offer a fully-fledged BNPL solution that meets consumer expectations of flexible and personalized BNPL options.


In the era of Smart BNPL, the personalized lending approach stands as a beacon for the future of consumer finance, showcasing that the one-size-fits-all approach is becoming obsolete. Banks and card issuers who recognize the importance of tailoring credit options to individual needs pave the way for a more inclusive, flexible, and responsible financial ecosystem while boosting customer loyalty and increasing revenue. By navigating the future with Smart BNPL offers through strategic partnerships with BNPL software suppliers, financial institutions position themselves as facilitators of positive financial experiences, ensuring that the BNPL journey is as smart as it is customer-centric.