For the first time in the Childcare & early education sector, Xplor Technologies has today announced a pioneering new collaboration with leading ‘buy now, pay later’ solution, Zip Co, to offer families more choice and flexibility when it comes to paying for childcare services.

Xplor Technologies serves over 10,000+ childcare centres in Australia and New Zealand, and if you have a child in childcare, you may be familiar with Xplor Home.

To highlight what this all means, here are the top five things to know about ‘buy now, pay later’, and what it means for the childcare industry.

1. ‘Buy now, pay later’ has become increasingly popular in Australia

Last year around six million people across Australia and New Zealand used ‘buy now, pay later’ products, such as Zip. ‘Buy now, pay later’ is interest free and is rising in popularity because consumers increasingly want to be able to spread payments for certain purchases over time.

2. ‘Buy now, pay later’ isn’t just for retail

You may be familiar with using ‘buy now, pay later’ services like Zip for retail services, like buying clothing or shoes, electronics, or furniture! However, due to its popularity, this type of payment is becoming more accessible across industries, meaning an alternative option is available for your electricity bill, a tyre change, a haircut, and now childcare.

Colin Baines, Zip’s Director, Commercial highlights, “This deal is the first of its kind for both the childcare industry and Zip. Teaming up with Xplor Technologies, we will use our financial solution to empower and offer flexibility for both families and childcare providers.”

Australia has among the highest out-of-pocket childcare fees in the world.

3. Parents want more options when it comes to paying for childcare

Affordability of childcare for families is not a new issue. According to a report from UNICEF earlier this year, Australia is at the bottom of the world ranking for access to early learning for three years olds, and has among the highest out-of-pocket childcare fees.

CEO of Education at Xplor Technologies, Mark Woodland says, “We are excited to venture into the buy now, pay later ecosystem with Zip, to be able to offer people more flexibility with how they pay for childcare. We know there is demand for tailored payment options in the Australian market, and believe this innovative initiative will improve access to childcare for more families.”

4. ‘Buy now, pay later’ is designed to provide choice for families, but may not be for everyone

The agreement is designed for families attending care at Australian childcare centres that use Xplor services, to be able to spread the cost of paying for childcare over time, helping to relieve the financial burden of paying fees upfront.

It will help families needing access to more transparent and flexible payment options to pay for childcare, by providing another available option to them, if they need it.

‘Buy now, pay later’ allows parents to pay for childcare over time, helping to relieve the financial burden of paying fees upfront.

5. ‘Buy now, pay later’ is not the same as a credit card

A lot of parents / guardians don’t have access to credit cards, meaning ‘buy now, pay later’ can be a better option to access short-term financing to pay for childcare sessions.

Many families have to make difficult decisions about turning down extra shifts at work because they cannot afford the cost of childcare. While many child care providers do offer payment plans if families run into financial difficulties, the partnership with Zip is designed to empower families to have greater control of their financial situation, removing the need to involve the centre or ask for a payment plan, and protect the parent or guardian’s self-esteem.

With alternative and fairer payment options available to families they will be able to make the best decision for their child and family, without lack of access to finances being a driving factor.

Zip will be available to Xplor’s network of childcare centres from early November. Families will be able to access the service directly from their childcare centre’s mobile app, ensuring an efficient and quick payment process.