How Much Does It Cost to Build a BNPL App Like Afterpay?

Sudeep Srivastava May 10, 2024
How Much Does It Cost To Build A BNPL App Like Afterpay

In today’s ever-changing consumer environment, people constantly search for practical and customized payment options that align with their financial goals and spending habits. This changing mindset has sparked several ground-breaking innovations in the FinTech sector, with the “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) trend emerging as a frontrunner gaining long-term significance.

Furthermore, BNPL applications are revolutionizing financial strategy and management by providing opportunities for preemptive budgeting and frictionless money management.

One of the trailblazers in the BNPL app space, Afterpay has revolutionized how consumers shop and pay for goods. With Afterpay, customers can split their purchases into interest-free installments, which increases accessibility and reduces the cost of expensive items. With millions of users worldwide, its smooth integration with online and physical businesses has boosted its popularity.

Many factors must be considered when creating a BNPL app, such as its development expenses, legal compliance, and technology infrastructure. However, the cost to develop an app like Afterpay generally ranges from $40,000 to $300,000 or more.

Connect with our experts to know the costs of building a BNPL app similar to Afterpay

In this blog, we will discuss the major factors influencing the Afterpay app development costs. We will also discuss its must-have features, monetization strategies, and the steps to build a similar app. However, we will first begin with the growth of the BNPL market, emphasizing why it’s the right time for your business to jump in. So, let’s dive right into the details!

The Bolstering Growth of the BNPL Market and Afterpay App

As reported by Grand View Research, the BNPL market size is expected to reach a valuation of $38.57 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 24.3% from 2023- 2030. Numerous important factors influencing consumer behavior and industry dynamics drive this growth trajectory. First, due to the need for simplicity and flexibility in budgeting customers are increasingly preferring flexible payment options.

Global BNPL Market Size: 2020- 2030

The demand for BNPL services is further driven by consumers’ growing need for seamless checkout processes and hassle-free payment experiences, resulting from the exponential growth of eCommerce. Furthermore, younger generations, Millennials, and Gen Z, significantly prefer BNPL solutions since they value convenience and transparency when purchasing.

As retailers strive to draw and keep customers in a cut-throat market, the growing use of BNPL as a payment option at checkout by companies and merchants is also helping in market expansion. Moreover, a cultural shift towards responsible spending and financial management highlights the popularity of BNPL services, allowing users to budget and manage payments effectively.

Now, Afterpay is a leading Buy Now, Pay Later platform that was founded in Australia in 2015 and allows the customers to divide purchases into interest-free installments. Owing to its creative strategy, Afterpay swiftly grew its popularity across international markets, drawing in millions of consumers and forming partnerships with different businesses across the globe.

interest-free installments of BNPL app like Afterpay

Afterpay’s acquisition by Square Inc. in 2020 strengthened its standing in the FinTech sector. Currently, Afterpay is still revolutionizing how people shop and pay, emphasizing offering businesses and customers both easy and flexible payment options.

Afterpay’s success as a leading BNPL platform, where consumers can make purchases and pay in interest-free installments, demonstrates the significant market demand for flexible payment solutions. This model caters to modern consumers’ preferences for convenience and financial flexibility, radically transforming the traditional shopping experience.

Furthermore, according to the reports, financially fragile consumers frequently use BNPL for smaller, routine purchases, while financially stable consumers use it for larger, more significant purchases. This dual market approach allows businesses to cater to a wide range of consumer needs and preferences, thereby making it a strong potential for customer retention and recurring revenue.

 BNPL app like Afterpay iOS app screens

To give you just a brief idea, here’s how a BNPL app like Afterpay works:

  • Opt for Afterpay as your preferred payment method during checkout.
  • Afterpay conveniently splits your purchase amount into four equal installments.
  • The initial installment is payable at the time of purchase, with subsequent installments automatically scheduled every 14 days.
  • There are no interest charges or fees before the full payoff.
  • Afterpay seamlessly deducts installments from your linked debit or credit card.
  • For in-store and online transactions, Afterpay does not require a traditional credit check, making it accessible to most consumers.

Factors Affecting the Cost to Develop an App Like Afterpay

The cost to build a BNPL app like Afterpay is influenced by a number of factors that encompass various aspects of development, infrastructure, and ongoing operations. These factors include:

Factors Influencing the Cost to Develop an App Like Afterpay

Feature Set

The cost to develop an app like Afterpay is influenced by its features’ variety and intricacy, including account administration, transaction history, installment management, and payment schedule. Moreover, enhancing user experience entails integrating features such as real-time notifications, personalized offers and rewards programs. While these features elevate user satisfaction, they also escalate the app complexity and impacts the Afterpay app development cost.

Additionally, adding features for customer support channels like live chat, FAQs, and dispute resolution processes requires more development work and continuous maintenance, which raises the cost of development.

User Experience Design

Investing in smooth checkout procedures, visually appealing interfaces, and user-friendly content boosts customer engagement but also raises the design and cost to build a BNPL app like Afterpay.

A better user experience can be achieved by streamlining the app’s navigation for easy browsing, adding interactive features for increased user interaction, and guaranteeing uniformity across different devices and screen sizes, all of which need more design iterations and development work. Therefore, extensive user research, usability testing, and iteration based on user feedback are necessary processes that also impact the entire project cost.

Platform Compatibility

Due to platform-specific development and design requirements, ensuring the app’s proper functioning across different platforms, such as iOS, Android, and the web, implies additional costs. Additionally, meticulous attention and specialized programming expertise are required for seamless integration with native platform functionality and UI guidelines, thus increasing the buy now pay later app development cost.

Furthermore, additional development time and resources are necessary to optimize each platform’s performance and user experience. This includes addressing platform-specific issues and ensuring consistency in functionality and design across different versions. Thorough testing across multiple systems to identify and rectify bugs, compatibility issues, and performance variations further adds to the Afterpay app development cost and complexity.

Integration with External Systems

Adding payment gateways, merchant systems, banking APIs, and regulatory compliance tools to an app like Afterpay requires more development and financial investment. Additionally, meticulous integration planning and development efforts are essential for seamless data synchronization and communication between the app and external systems, such as order fulfillment services and inventory management platforms.

The complexity and the cost to develop an app like Afterpay are further increased by including strong error-handling mechanisms and fallback plans that address system outages between the application and external systems.

Security Requirements

Strong security measures to secure confidential financial data, guarantee compliance, and fend off fraud and data breaches will take more time and money to develop. Furthermore, safeguards like data encryption, tokenization of private data, and usage of secure transmission protocols like SSL/TLS are essential parts of an all-encompassing security plan, but they also take more time and money to develop.

It is also helpful to set up access restrictions, audit trails, and monitoring systems to strengthen security defenses. However, these measures add to the complexity and the overall cost to build a BNPL app like Afterpay. Furthermore, constant investment in security measures is required to conduct frequent security assessments, vulnerability scans, and penetration tests to find and fix gaps and guarantee continued compliance with industry standards.

Regulatory Compliance

Keeping up with data protection laws, financial regulations, and industry standards such as PCI DSS necessitates regular monitoring, compliance audits, and legal consultations, which raise the buy now pay later app development cost.

Moreover, establishing systems to manage user permissions, adhere to data retention regulations, and enact data breach notification protocols are essential for adhering to regulatory compliances. However, developing these components necessitates additional time and financial investment.

Also Read: Top 11 Legal Issues to Consider to Protect Your App in 2024

Location of the Development Team

Regional differences in development rates greatly impact the Afterpay-like app development costs. Hiring a dedicated development team from countries like India allow you to get access to a highly competent and talented pool of developers who do not compromise with quality. Selecting developers from Western Europe and North America could increase development costs.

RegionHourly Development Rate
Eastern Europe$50-$55
Western Europe$80-$90

Size of the Development Team

The size of the development team influences project expenses. Larger teams might finish projects more quickly but also need more coordination and resources. On the other hand, smaller teams might save money, but they might take longer to complete projects. Optimizing development costs while maintaining quality and efficiency necessitates balancing team size, project requirements, and budgetary restrictions.

Furthermore, larger teams often offer diverse specialized expertise, allowing for in-depth exploration of complex features and ensuring comprehensive testing and quality assurance processes. A broader talent pool increases the chances of finding individuals with skill sets specific to the project’s needs, improving the quality of the deliverables.

Must-Have Features for an App Similar to Afterpay

To create an app like Afterpay, it is essential to consider a few must-have features based on the user, retailer, and vendor panels that cater to the needs and preferences of all stakeholders involved. Let’s have a look at the top Afterpay app features:

User Panel

The customer panel allows users to enjoy a streamlined onboarding process, select from various payment options, understand transparent pricing, receive real-time notifications, and ensure a smooth checkout experience.

User panel of BNPL app like Afterpay

  • Easy Sign-Up and Onboarding: Smooth registration process with minimal friction to encourage user adoption.
  • Flexible Payment Options: Users can choose from different payment methods and installment plans tailored to their individual preferences and financial situations.
  • Transparent Pricing: Clear disclosure of fees, terms, and payment schedules to ensure users understand the financial commitment.
  • Real-time Notifications: Instant alerts for upcoming payments, transaction confirmations, and promotional offers to keep users informed and engaged.
  • Smooth Checkout Process: One-click shopping and automatic installment selection make checking out easier for the users.
  • Customer Support: Prompt resolution of questions, issues, and disputes using various channels, including chat, email, and phone.
  • Personalized Recommendations: Tailored product suggestions and offers based on purchase history, browsing behavior, and user preferences to enhance the shopping experience.

Retailer Panel

This panel allows retailers to seamlessly integrate their point-of-sale systems, gain insights into transaction data, and effectively manage inventory.

Retailer panel of BNPL app like Afterpay

  • Integration with Point-of-Sale Systems: Smooth linking with retailers’ payment systems embedded in POS to make in-store purchases on BNPL terms possible.
  • Transaction Insights: Provides retailers access to detailed reporting and analytics tools for gaining insights into customer behavior, sales trends, and product performance.
  • Inventory Management: The app syncs inventory data between retailers’ systems to ensure accurate product availability and pricing.
  • Marketing Tools: Built-in marketing features such as promotional campaigns, discount codes, and targeted messaging to attract and retain customers.
  • Customizable Branding: Enables retailers to customize the app’s branding, including logos, colors, and messaging, to maintain brand consistency.
  • Compliance Support: Guidance and support for retailers to comply with regulatory requirements, data protection laws, and industry standards.

Admin Panel

The admin panel offers a multi-faceted dashboard for the administrators to get a comprehensive overview of the systems, manage merchant and user accounts efficiently, monitor transactions in real-time, and oversee financial operations.

Admin panel of BNPL app like Afterpay

  • Dashboard: A centralized dashboard providing an overview of key metrics such as user behavior and activities, transaction volumes, revenue generated, and customer support tickets.
  • Merchant Management: Ability to onboard and manage merchants, including approval processes, contract management, and access permissions.
  • User Management: Tools for managing user accounts, including user verification, account suspension, and password resets.
  • Transaction Monitoring: Real-time monitoring of transactions for fraud detection, unusual activity, and compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Financial Management: Operations management, which includes releasing funds, accumulating revenues, and sharing money with storekeepers.
  • Customer Support: Tools for managing customer inquiries, disputes, and escalations, including ticketing systems and communication channels with users and merchants.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Advanced reporting tools and analytics dashboards to track performance metrics, identify trends, and generate insights for decision-making.
  • Risk Management: Credit protection tools and mechanisms for risk analysis and management of credit-related issues, USS default rates, and fraud activities.

Advanced Features of a BNPL App Like Afterpay

Beyond simple installment management and payment processing, the capabilities of a BNPL app like Afterpay offer improved functionality and user experience. The following are some of its advanced features:

Advanced Features of BNPL App Like Afterpay

AI-driven Risk Assessment

This feature uses machine learning algorithms to evaluate a user’s creditworthiness in real-time, allowing for dynamic spending limitations and tailored risk assessment.
[Also Read: Harnessing the Power of AI for Enhanced Risk Management in Business]

Financial Wellness Tools

These include savings calculators, budgeting tools, and financial education materials to help users become more financially literate and capable of making wise decisions.

AI-based budget management tool Mudra

Smart Notifications

Personalized and context-aware push notifications enable users to manage their impending payments, warn them against possible overspending, and provide information about their spending patterns.

Augmented Reality Try-Ons

By using AR technology, users can virtually try out products before they make a purchase. This improves the online shopping experience and lowers return rates.

Green Financing Options

Presenting eco-friendly financing options, like carbon-neutral payment schedules or purchases that include donations to environmental charities.

[Also Read: Green AI: How Artificial Intelligence Can Solve Sustainability Challenges?]

Localized Currency and Language Support

This involves supporting different currencies and languages to serve a worldwide user base and ease international transactions.

Steps to Develop a Buy Now Pay Later App Like Afterpay

The Afterpay app development process adheres to rigorous standards, encompassing meticulous planning, iterative design, robust development, and comprehensive testing to ensure a seamless user experience and reliable performance. Here are some of the crucial steps to build an app like Afterpay:

Steps to Develop a Buy Now Pay Later App Like Afterpay

Market Research and Analysis

Conduct in-depth market research to understand what the user wants, what’s trending currently in the BNPL industry, and what the competitors are up to. Determine the popular characteristics, target demographics, and possible challenges. Additionally, to efficiently customize the app’s features and marketing methods, monitor consumer behavior, preferences, and purchasing habits.

Consider conducting focus groups or surveys to get direct input from potential users and improve the app’s value proposition based on their observations.

Choosing Features and Functionalities

Establish the application’s essential features and capabilities based on market research. This could involve account administration, transaction history, installment management, payment processing, user authentication, and interaction with other eCommerce platforms. Additionally, prioritize features that meet customer needs and differentiate the app from rivals.

Add features like social sharing capabilities, budgeting tools, reward programs, and tailored suggestions to improve user engagement and retention. Ensure flexible and scalable feature development meets changing market demands and future updates.

UX/UI Design

To improve the user experience, create an interface that is easy to use and intuitive. Create wireframes and prototypes to see the app’s design, usability, and flow. Use Afterpay’s branding standards to create a unified style. The design’s usability should also be tested with the intended audience to acquire their input and make incremental improvements.

To maximize accessibility and usability, create a smooth and uniform user experience across various devices and screen sizes. Furthermore, prioritize mobile optimization and user-friendly navigation to expedite checkout and boost user engagement.

Also Read: Importance of UI UX Design in an App Development Process


Create the application’s front-end user interfaces, back-end system architecture, and system integrations. Select the relevant technologies and frameworks based on scalability, security, and platform compatibility needs. Implement agile development methodologies to promote flexible and effective project administration.

To ensure code quality and quickly fix problems, conduct routine code reviews, testing, and iteration cycles. Furthermore, to ensure scalability and stability throughout the development and release process, consider setting continuous integration and deployment pipelines into place.

Security Measures Implementation

Data encryption, safe authentication techniques, and frequent security audits are a few examples of implementing strong security measures.

Use biometric and two-factor authentication technologies to improve user account security further. Implement monitoring systems and anomaly detection algorithms to increase the app’s cyberattack resistance. This will allow you to identify and address any unusual activity quickly.

Testing and Quality Assurance

Conduct thorough testing to identify and resolve flaws, usability problems, and security vulnerabilities. Also, conduct functional, usability, performance, and security testing to satisfy the app’s quality requirements.

Prioritize user acceptability testing (UAT) to get input from actual users and confirm the app’s usability and functionality in practical settings. Iterative development cycles should be used to continuously improve testing methodologies to maintain high standards for the duration of the app’s lifecycle.

Deployment and Launch

Prepare your app for release by preparing marketing materials, launching activities, and improving app store listings. Launch the app on Google Play Store and App Stores and monitor performance indicators.

Track key performance indicators (KPIs), including downloads, user engagement, and retention rates, after launch, using analytics tools to support data-driven decision-making and ongoing improvement plans.

Post-Launch Support and Iteration

Provide continued maintenance, upgrades, and support assistance to respond to user comments, resolve problems, and roll out new features. Iterate continuously to improve the functionality and user experience of the app based on user data, market input, and emerging trends.

Establish user feedback channels, such as community forums, in-app feedback forms, and customer support issues, to effectively gather feedback and prioritize feature updates. Use agile development approaches to quickly put iterative updates and enhancements into the app, keeping it competitive and in line with changing user demands and industry trends.

Also Read: What is the Cost of Maintaining an App in 2024?

Explore our services to enter the BNPL app market

Monetization Strategies for a BNPL App Like Afterpay

Several monetization strategies are used by Afterpay to make money while providing its Buy Now, Pay Later services. These are a few of its primary monetization approaches:

Late Fees

Users who do not make their installment payments on time will be assessed late fees by the app. These costs encourage prompt payments and help an Afterpay-like app generate continuous income.

Merchant Fees

Each time a transaction is handled using the app’s platform, merchants are charged with a fee. This charge usually varies based on the merchant- app agreement, from 3% to 6% of the transaction value.

Currency Conversion Fees

Users may be charged currency conversion or foreign transaction fees by the app for international transactions. Usually expressed as a percentage of the transaction amount, these costs go toward funding the app.

Merchant Marketing Services

Through the BNPL app and website, businesses can take advantage of sponsored placements, customized advertising, and promotional campaigns. Merchants must pay a price for these marketing services to boost their exposure and draw in app customers.

Interest Fees

An app like Afterpay does not impose interest on its installment plans, but if consumers choose longer-term payment plans, it may collaborate with lenders to provide interest-bearing financing solutions. These loan partners give the app a commission or referral fee.

Cross-Selling and Upselling

During the checkout process, an Afterpay-like app can offer users complementary goods or services to engage in cross-selling and upselling. The app will receive referral fees or affiliate commissions from its partner retailers in exchange for promoting sales.

By capitalizing on these revenue strategies, an app like Afterpay can generate revenue and deliver value to merchants and users through its BNPL platform. These diverse revenue streams are pivotal in fueling the BNPL app like Afterpay’s growth and bolstering its profitability within the competitive FinTech landscape.

Trust Appinventiv to Build a Robust BNPL App Like Afterpay

BNPL applications have become essential at a time when consumers value ease and flexibility in their payment options. In fulfilling this need, Appinventiv has emerged as a reliable FinTech app development company known for developing robust BNPL apps similar to Afterpay.

Appinventiv has a proven track record of building innovative FinTech applications like Mudra and Edfundo, which gained massive results in the form of user engagement and fundings. Hiring Appinventiv for your Afterpay app development process guarantees the delivery of a user-centric BNPL platform that not only meets but also goes beyond the changing expectations of users and merchants alike.

Our experts utilize cutting-edge technologies and strategic insights in their mobile app development process. So, if you are all set to venture into the BNPL app development and want to know the cost to develop an app like Afterpay, it’s high time to connect with our experts.

Get in touch with your BNPL app idea, and let us help you create one.


Q. How long does it take to make an app like Afterpay?

A. It takes around 3-4 months to create a basic version. However, to create an app like Afterpay with advanced features and functionalities requires more time and resources, thereby lengthening the development timeline. Read this blog to understand the factors influencing the app development timeline.

Q. How much does it cost to develop a BNPL app?

A. The Afterpay app development cost varies depending on factors such as features, complexity, platform compatibility, security requirements, and development team size. On average, development costs can range from $40,000 to $300,000 or more, with additional expenses for maintenance and post-launch support. Connect with our app developers to get a complete estimation of the cost to develop an app like Afterpay.

Q. What are the benefits of developing an app like Afterpay?

A. BNPL app development like Afterpay has a host of benefits to offer. This includes:

  • Increased purchasing power and flexibility for users, thereby leading to increased sales, customer loyalty and retention for businesses
  • Higher average order values and conversion rates
  • Lowered barriers to purchase, which increases spontaneous buys and broadens the customer base.
  • Enhanced data analytics for deeper insights into consumer behaviors and spending, aiding in improving product offerings.
Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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