Bloomberg Law
Nov. 23, 2021, 11:00 AM

Behind ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ U.S. Boom, Federal Regulator Looms

Evan Weinberger
Evan Weinberger

As more Americans are expected to purchase gifts through buy now, pay later services this holiday season, the nation’s consumer finance watchdog can turn to tools in existing law to soften the edges of the largely unsupervised industry.

Despite calls for specific new regulations, buy now, pay later businesses—which boomed in popularity since the start of the pandemic—already must abide by federal and state fair lending, credit reporting, and anti-money laundering laws. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s pending payday lending rule could also be invoked.

The burgeoning businesses are “regulated at a federal and state level, so they have regulations ...

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