Microsoft has sparked criticism for building in a “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) option into its Edge web browser, beginning in the US.
The option allows Edge to suggest a sponsored BNPL payment method when customers begin entering their card numbers into retail sites. Even if specific sites do not offer it themselves.
Microsoft has signed a deal with third-party BNPL company Zip to feature the sign-up option on retail checkout pages at browser level. This feature will pop up for any purchase Edge detects between $35 to $1000.
Microsoft first announced these plans a couple of weeks ago for the development build of its browser, Microsoft Edge Canary. But, as of today, these changes are now arriving publicly, to anyone with Edge’s v64 update.
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.— Kevin Beaumont (@GossiTheDog) November 30, 2021
The tags on the post on Microsoft’s website say it all. Keep speaking out. pic.twitter.com/wsujv2VdWN
Last year Microsoft partnered with BNPL firm Klarna in the UK for its Xbox All Access scheme, which let customers pre-order an Xbox Series X/S for a fixed monthly fee. In February, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority announced it would step in to regulate the growing BNPL sector following the publication of a critical report into BNPL practices.