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Buy now, pay later company Afterpay moves into travel

(Photo: Getty)
(Photo: Getty)

Afterpay has teamed up with online travel agency LayAway Travel to create Play, a new travel booking and payment instalment service that allows holidaymakers to pay in advance for holidays in weekly or fortnightly instalments.

“[PLAY] adopts a traditional layby model in that customers are able to pick and book a curated holiday package and pay for it in full; in weekly or fortnightly instalments over a 3- to 12-month period, before they travel,” according to the website.

The new travel service at was created “in direct response to customer feedback” to help customers budget more effectively.

While it’s been described as a collaboration on the website, the new service is owned by LayAway and uses their lay-by technology, but it’s tailored to Afterpay’s customer base.

How’s it any different to Afterpay?

Where you can pay for flights with Afterpay, you can now pay for package deals that include accommodation, meals and experiences through PLAY.

Where Afterpay lets you pay in staggered instalments after you’ve purchased something, PLAY means money-conscious customers can pay off their holiday before you go.

“PLAY enables customers to spread the cost of their holiday across instalments and pay in full prior to their departure date,” the website said.

“It’s effectively layby in the traditional sense.

“This means that, in line with a traditional layby model, no funds are advanced to customers, and all payments made by PLAY to providers on a customer’s behalf come from funds contributed via instalments by the customer themselves.”

The instalments periods are longer and more flexible than Afterpay’s. Where Afterpay repayments are fortnightly across six to eight weeks, PLAY means you can make payments every week or every fortnight over a period of two to 12 months.

How does it work?

Choose a holiday package at where the destinations will range from domestic to nearby Asia Pacific countries.

Fuji, Hawaii, the USA and Vanuatu also feature on the list.

Once you’ve chosen and personalised your package, Play will calculate the total cost and the payment breakdown.

You’ll have to make your first payment at the time of booking.

What’s the fine print?

The whole holiday has to be paid off a month before you depart, unless otherwise specified.

Make sure you can definitely pay it off, because every time you miss a payment, you’ll be charged a $7 administration fee. Miss a few and someone from PLAY will “be in touch to make sure everything is ok”.

Miss more than 5 payments in total (note that they don’t have to be consecutive) and your account will get suspended.

Your holiday might get cancelled – and they’ll charge you a $55 cancellation fee on top of that.

“If you do not pay for your holiday in full in advance of your departure date, in line with your payment schedule, your trip will not be finalised and you will not be issued with travel documents,” the website said.

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