Microsoft is under fire for a controversial addition to its Edge web browser, after it partnered with a third party ‘buy now, pay later (BNPL)’ provider.
The BNPL provider in question is Zip (formerly Quadpay), and Microsoft has entered into an agreement that is annoying users of Redmond’s Edge browser.
When a user reaches a checkout webpage for an online transaction, the Edge browsers adds Zip’s buy now, pay later option when selecting payment methods.
“Buy now, pay later,” or BNPL, allows shoppers break their purchases into equal instalment payments, often interest-free, which can allow shoppers to get their purchase upfront, instead of having to wait until it’s paid in full.
However BNPL has been heavily criticised by experts as helping people increase their debt burden.
Indeed, 34 percent of people using BNPL reportedly miss at least one payment, which earns a default on their credit rating.
Microsoft quietly added the BNPL option in mid November to its Edge browser.
“Buy now, pay later, or BNPL, lets shoppers break their purchases into equal instalment payments, often interest-free, which can allow shoppers to get their purchase upfront, instead of having to wait until it’s paid in full,” said Redmond.
“Usually, BNPL is offered in specific e-commerce websites like Target, Walmart,” it said. “But now, Microsoft partners with 3rd party Zip (previously Quadpay) to offer a BNPL payment option at browser level. It means any purchase between $35 – $1,000 you make through Microsoft Edge can be split into 4 instalments over 6 weeks.”
But the move is proving unpopular with users, with some experts questioning why Redmond is saddling its Edge browser with bloatware.
And judging by the reaction on Twitter, the move is unpopular with users as well.
“Microsoft’s Edge Browser Continues To Bloat” tweeted Ant Pruitt.
“Microsoft added Buy Now Pay Later into Edge (and so Windows 10 and 11 base OS), a thing which is known to be abused to harm people,” tweeted Kevin Beaumont.
“Maybe the Edge team can integrate DMs from debt collectors into the browser, to go with Buy Now Pay Later,” he added.
“Anyone who worked on BNPL should be ashamed of themselves,” tweeted Andy Young. “Stop taking advantage of financially insecure people.”
“The Microsoft Edge BNPL/Zip integration is *breathtakingly* tacky from a company that should absolutely know better,” wrote Dopamine Reactor.
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