What is Openpay and how does it work?

TAMIKA SEETO
Openpay is a buy now pay later service. Like its competitors Afterpay and Zip Pay, Openpay is interest-free. However, there are fees that may apply.

In this article, we look at:

What is Openpay?

Openpay is a buy now pay later (BNPL) service that allows customers to pay for purchases over time, interest-free. Payments can be spread across two to 24 months (depending on the purchase), repaid over weekly or fortnightly instalments.

Openpay says it focuses on industries such as automotive, healthcare, home improvement, memberships and education. Some of its partners include Bunnings, Bupa Dental and Repco. It also says it targets customers who are of an older demographic.

How does Openpay work?

You can shop with Openpay in-store and online at participating retailers. You can find a list of participating retailers on the Openpay website or through the Openpay mobile app.

If shopping in-store, you’ll need to download the Openpay app and show the store staff your barcode or nine-digit Customer ID number at checkout. If shopping online, you’ll need to select Openpay as your payment method at checkout.

Payment plans range between two to 24 months, with values up to $20,000 depending on your circumstances. You’ll be charged the first instalment at the time of purchase. This is usually 20% of the purchase price. You will then be asked to repay the remainder of the purchase in weekly or fortnightly instalments. Openpay says you can also make early repayments via the Openpay app or by calling its customer service team.

How much does it cost to use Openpay?

Openpay does not charge interest, but it does charge fees in some circumstances. At the time of writing, Openpay says it may charge you a plan creation fee when you establish an Openpay plan, a plan management fee on each instalment you make under your plan and a late payment fee of $9.50 if you don’t pay an instalment on time and it is still unpaid two days after the due date.

Openpay says the plan creation fees and plan management fees may vary depending on factors like the retailer and purchase amount. As an example, Openpay says the following fees apply to purchases made at Bunnings.

  • Purchase amount up to $1,000 – no plan creation fee, plan management fee of $0.50 per fortnight, paid over two to three months.
  • Purchase amount between $1,000 and $15,000 – plan creation fee of $25, plan management fee of $2.50 per fortnight, paid over six to 18 months depending on the spend amount.

Excluding late payment fees, Openpay says fees are capped at $200 in the first 12 months of the contract, and $125 each subsequent year. It also says it will disclose all fees to you before you commit to starting an Openpay plan.

How do I register for Openpay?

Before signing up for Openpay, it’s important to carefully consider whether it is suited to your financial needs and whether you will be able to make your regular repayments or pay off your balance by the applicable due dates. Keep in mind that there may be fees involved, including if you are late with any repayments.

If you decide to open an account, you can do so through the Openpay app, in-store or at the online checkout when shopping with a partner retailer. Openpay says it will perform an ID and credit check on you when you create an account.

To be eligible for an account, Openpay says you will need to:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Provide your full legal name, residential address and date of birth
  • Provide a valid email address and phone number
  • Provide details of a valid Visa or Mastercard in your name (both credit and debit cards are accepted).

You may also need to provide a valid Australian photo ID (or New Zealand ID if you are a New Zealand resident).

Does Openpay do credit checks?

Openpay says it reserves the right to conduct credit checks on new applicants, and that it may perform a “quick” credit check on you when you create an account. This may include getting a copy of your credit report from a credit reporting body. Additionally, if you request an increase to your initial spending limit, Openpay says it will do a credit check on you if you consent. This will be listed on your credit report.

→ You can check your credit score for free with Canstar

While credit checks by providers such as Openpay won’t necessarily hurt your credit score, they will generally be visible to other lenders who look at your report. If you make multiple applications for credit (including buy now pay later services) in a short space of time, this may have a negative impact on your score.

Additionally, if you miss your repayments, Openpay says it may disclose this to a credit reporting body. This can have a negative impact on your credit score and may make it more difficult to get credit in the future.

How does Openpay compare to Afterpay and Zip Pay?

Type of transactions

One of the main differences between Openpay and its largest competitors Afterpay and Zip Pay, is that Openpay says it is more focussed on automotive, healthcare, home improvement, membership and education transactions. In comparison, Afterpay and Zip Pay are more focussed on retail transactions.

Credit limit

Openpay is also available for larger amounts than many of its competitors, offering a credit limit of up to $20,000. Openpay says that if your current limit is less than this, you may be able to increase it over time by completing payment plans, or by applying for a higher limit.

In comparison, Afterpay says its spending limits start at around $500 and can increase gradually over time. Zip Pay offers a credit limit of up to $1,000, while its sister service Zip Money (which is not 100% interest-free) can be used for amounts over $1,000, up to $5,000 or potentially more, depending on your circumstances.

Repayment period

Openpay may also provide a longer repayment period, offering up to 24 months depending on the merchant and how much you spend. In comparison, Afterpay purchases must be repaid within four fortnightly payments over six weeks, starting at the time of purchase. Zip Pay purchases can be repaid weekly, fortnightly or monthly, as long as you pay your minimum monthly repayment (usually $40).

Fees

Another difference is the fees. Openpay may charge establishment fees and management fees (both of which can vary depending on where you shop and the size of your plan), as well as late payment fees of $9.50. By contrast, Afterpay charges late payment fees starting at $10 and a further $7 if the payment is still unpaid after seven days, but does not charge shoppers any admin fees. Zip Pay charges a $6 account-keeping fee if you have an outstanding balance at the end of the month, and a $5 late fee if you don’t pay the minimum repayment each month.

What can I do if I can’t meet my Openpay repayments?

If you are finding it difficult to make your Openpay repayments, you can contact Openpay’s customer service team to ask for support.

You may also want to speak to a financial counsellor. Financial counsellors offer free, confidential and independent advice. You can speak to one by calling the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.

Cover image source: sofirinaja/Shutterstock.com


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This content was reviewed by Sub Editor Tom Letts and Finance and Lifestyle Editor Shay Waraker as part of our fact-checking process.


Tamika covers personal finance for Canstar, specialising in banking and general insurance. She joined the team after completing a Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at QUT. She has previously written for a range of news, music and arts publications.

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