A Side-By-Side Comparison for Customer Payment Plan Options

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Following our recent post on instalment plans, we wanted to take a closer look at the current services merchants can use to offer lines of credit to their customer. This post has a side-by-side comparison of some of the most popular extensions and apps that allow your customers to pay for their purchases in smaller chunks over a longer period of time.

A quick refresher on offering lines of credit

Many Shopify customers are looking for ways to pay that are convenient and that they can manage themselves easily. Especially for merchants who offer larger-ticket items that can be seen as investments, it might be worth allowing your customers to pay in instalments or with a line of credit.

Pros: Customer retention and average order value are way higher, especially since they are already used to interacting with your store more often. Breaking down your pricing into smaller chunks also means customers can manage their personal finances more closely, and report higher brand satisfaction because of it.

Cons: There is some risk associated with letting someone pay only in part for their items at first. If they stop making payments but have already received the product, there’s a chance you could lose money. Luckily, some of the services illustrated below take on this risk themselves.

What to look for in a customer payment plan service

Shopify doesn’t (yet) provide its own way to offer lines of credit or payment plans to your customers, but there are several good services that do. Here are just a couple of things to think about when considering which one to choose.

Does it offer fixed payment plans, or flexible lines of credit?

Basically, with a payment plan your customer knows they’re paying $x over y instalments each month. Some services will have the ability to choose how many instalments a customer wants, so they can extend their payments over longer periods of time; while others will have a set “no matter what the price is, you pay it in four instalments” model.

A line of credit, on the other hand, acts just like a credit card. Your customer will make any purchases using their line of credit and pay back the amount they feel comfortable paying that month for all of their purchases. Some customers may prefer this, because it’s extremely flexible and they might already be using associated payment services. PayPal Credit, for example, offers a normal PayPal account and a line of credit to all users.

Are you paid up front, or when your customer pays?

One of the disadvantages of having your customers pay in small chunks is that you might get paid in small chunks. For businesses that are close to the margin, this doesn’t seem that attractive. It’s ok though; many of the services that offer instalment plans pay you right away so it feels the same as a normal transaction.

Is the risk taken on by the service, or by you?

Some services take on the risk that a customer might not pay in full. This is definitely something to look for, as it can prevent you from getting partial payments from unreliable customers.

How much does it cost?

This is, of course, a big one. Some services don’t charge much more than a credit card fee, while others can take some pretty hefty cuts. Services that take on risk, for example, will probably charge more.

Another way to think about the cost is to consider what other costs you’re foregoing. Some research has shown that businesses with payment plans make more money without needing to offer discounts anymore, because their customers prefer instalments to one-off coupons. If the fees are less than you’re losing in discounts, it’s definitely something to consider.

Credit Options: A Comparison



Type of Plan

When are you paid?





Customers pay for any item in four instalments, with no interest fees unless they are late

Right away

Afterpay takes on fraud and credit risk

4-6%, depending on order value



zipPay works as a digital wallet line of credit, where customers can defer when they pay and pay what they can

Right away

ZipPay takes on both credit and fraud risk

2-4% per transaction, depending on the size of your business

PayPal Credit


Customers use PayPal Credit like a credit card. They can pay at a later time, with no fees or interest if they pay within 6 months for orders over $99

Right away

PayPal Credit takes on the credit risk, though there could be a chargeback fee for fraudulent buyers

Standard PayPal fees of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, with no additional charges


Worldwide merchants, but US shoppers only

FuturePay is a line of credit, where customers can pay flexibly later. They pay $5 for every $500 balance carried over, with no additional interest

Right away

All credit risk is on FuturePay

4.95% per transaction


79 countries

Split.It uses customers’ existing credit cards to offer deferred payment

Two plans:
Accept payments in instalments for a lower rate, or upfront for a higher rate

Split.It does not take on fraud protection (Chargeback fee is $30).

With their basic plan, you are paid when customers pay

If paid in instalments:

1.5 % + $1.50 per Installment

Paid upfront, customer uses < 3 instalments

3% + $1.00 per installment

Paid upfront, customer uses 4-6 instalments 4.5% + $1.00 per installment

Paid upfront, customer uses 7-12 instalments

7.5% + $1.00 per installment


You can use it anywhere Stripe is accepted (which is pretty much everywhere). Accepts USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, NZD, MXN, DKK, NOK, SEK, CHF, SGD

Partial.ly allows you to set up your own payment plans, and does the billing for you. Your customers are dealing directly with you for all future payments

Accept payments in instalments, and flexibly adjust the terms

You’re taking on the risk of fraud or partial payment

5% + $0.30 per transaction; includes all credit card fees

Klarna Payments

Scandinavia, UK and US

Klarna is a payment gateway and line of credit, offering customers the chance to pay when they purchase, on delivery, in plans or like a credit card

Right away

Klarna takes on credit protection and some fraud protection

A monthly fee of USD $92 + 3% per transaction


Middle East

A payment gateway that includes an instalment plan, plus other features like subscription plans

Right away

Fraud and credit protection

About USD $27 / month, + 2.65% + $0.75 processing fee

Fees differ slightly, depending on the country you use PayFort in

Want help setting one up within Shopify?

Elkfox can help you install, set up and work with any type of payment plan to use with your Shopify account. Get in touch with us to learn more.