Zip (previously QuadPay) is a popular payment platform that allows shoppers to pay for their purchases in four installments. This makes it an ideal solution for those who want to make a large purchase, but don’t want to pay all at once. But even though there are several perks to this payment method, there are downsides associated with it as well.
What if you could buy the things you want, when you want them, without worrying about whether you currently have the money available? With Zip, that’s a reality.
Zip is a fintech company similar to AfterPay that provides a convenient ‘buy now pay later’ platform for consumers. This payment method lets you break down your purchase into four equal payments that spread out over a six-week period. It’s also a great alternative to credit cards because there are no credit checks or interest charges. Read on to learn more about what Zip is, how it works, and whether it could be a potential option for you.
How does QuadPay work?
QuadPay, now known as Zip, is a buy-now-pay-later platform that allows you to split your purchase into four interest-free payments. It’s quite simple to use for anyone who isn’t able to pay the full amount upfront for a purchase.
Here’s how it works: first, you create an account with Zip. Then, when you’re shopping online or in-store, you can select Zip as your payment method. Once you’ve completed your purchase, Zip will charge your card for the first quarter of the total amount. You’ll then have six weeks to pay off the remaining balance.
When you set up a Zip account, you can link it to either a debit or credit card. After you make a purchase, Zip will automatically set up four interest-free installments and run your linked credit or debit card.
Sign up requirements
To sign up for Zip, you must:
- Live in the United States
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a verifiable mobile number
- Have a US credit or debit card that you can purchase with
- Have a valid mailing address in the United States
Apart from meeting these requirements, Zip might also ask for other personal information to verify your identity. This may include your date of birth, driver’s license, and other relevant documents.
The only fees that Zip customers are subject to are installment fees and late payment fees. Unlike traditional finance companies, Zip’s business model is based on charging the store you’re shopping with a fee.
However, Zip will charge a $1.00 per installment and applies to all purchases made through the Zip app. This means for each order, you’ll end up paying $4.00 extra. Another charge you could incur is the late payment fee. This fee could be either $5, $7, or $10 — depending on your state of residence.
Unlike other payment methods that involve using credit, Zip doesn’t charge interest. So whether you’re buying a new outfit or just need to cover some expenses, you can do it without having to worry about racking up a ton of interest. Just make sure to pay your installments on time to avoid additional fees.
Which stores accept QuadPay?
You can use Zip (QuadPay) online and in-store anywhere Visa is accepted. Here are some examples:
- Best Buy
- Victoria’s Secret
- Bath & Body Works
- Fashion Nova
Though Zip is accepted almost everywhere, Zip blocks stores that sell restricted items such as vaping products, guns, cannabis, etc.
How to use QuadPay
If you’ve never used a buy-now-pay-later payment platform before, it can seem a little strange at first. But don’t worry, it’s quite straightforward. Here’s how to use Zip to make a purchase both online and in-store.
To use Zip online, first open the Zip app to locate the store you’d like to shop at, and then start shopping as you normally would. When you’re ready to check out, click on the “Pay with Zip” button to create a one-time Zip virtual card that you’ll use to complete the purchase. Next, you’ll be asked to enter the amount you plan on spending.
From there, you should see your installment due dates and amounts. If you’d like to continue, then you can enter the numbers on the Zip virtual card to pay for your items.
In retail stores
To pay with Zip at a physical store, open the app and select the “in-store” option. From there, input the amount of money you’ll spend at the store. Make sure to take into account not only the product price but also taxes and other fees. If you don’t spend the entire balance on your virtual card, don’t worry. Zip will apply the remaining balance toward your order’s remaining installments.
After that, you’ll see the installment amounts and due dates displayed on the next screen. Hit “Continue,” and you’ll see the virtual card information that you can show the cashier. To make this process even more convenient, you can add the Zip virtual card details to Google Pay or Apple Pay. This way, you can complete the payment with a simple tap on your phone.
Does QuadPay impact your credit score?
Similar to Afterpay, there are some positives and negatives when it comes to Zip and your credit score. Let’s start with the positives.
First, only a soft credit check is performed when you sign up for a Zip, or QuadPay, account. This means your credit score won’t dip simply because you signed up for Zip. Since Zip doesn’t charge interest, you also don’t need a minimum credit score to apply for the program, which can be a huge help for someone with a lower (or no) score.
Now for the sometimes good, sometimes bad, news. Zip isn’t in contact with the credit bureaus, meaning having an account with Zip won’t affect your credit score. So while they don’t report late payments, Zip also doesn’t report on-time payments. This can be great for someone with established credit, but it may not be helpful for someone looking to build or improve their score.
Also, though Zip doesn’t communicate with credit bureaus, collection agencies absolutely do. If you don’t make your installment payments, you could rack up late fees or even have your account sent to collections. If your credit needs a little repair (maybe after a spending spree through Zip), consider looking into a secured credit card instead.
QuadPay’s credit limit
Just like credit cards, Zip has a credit limit that is usually reflected on the top of your screen in the app. For a purchase to go through, you must have at least 25% of the item purchase amount available in your total balance. For example, if you want to purchase a $100 jacket, you must have at least $25 in your account for Zip to approve the transaction.
You might be wondering if it’s possible to increase your spending limit in Zip. The answer is yes — provided that:
- You haven’t already reached the maximum credit limit of $2,000.
- You received a notification informing you of your eligibility for a credit increase.
In other words, you aren’t able to manually request a limit increase. But if you receive a notification stating that you’re eligible for one, then you can take advantage of it.
Pros and cons of using QuadPay
As with any financial product, there are both pros and cons to using Zip. So, before signing up for the app, make sure you understand both the advantages and disadvantages. That way, you can use it in a way that works best for you.
Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.
- Available at almost every retailer that accepts Visa. One of the main advantages of using Zip is that it can be used at almost any retailer that accepts Visa. This makes it a convenient option for people who want to spread out their payments for day-to-day purchases.
- Only conducts soft credit checks. Unlike applying for credit cards, student loans, and auto loans, signing up for Zip doesn’t require a hard inquiry. This means you don’t have to worry about damaging your credit score and affecting your chances of qualifying for loans in the future.
- Interest-free payments. As we mentioned before, Zip does not charge interest on any installment payment, even if that payment is late. Since interest rates are one of the largest expenses when it comes to credit cards, using Zip can be a great way to save money while buying a more expensive item.
- Installment and late payment fees. When you use Zip, you’re agreeing to pay for your purchase in four installments. The first installment is due at the time of the purchase. The remaining three payments are due every two weeks — and you’ll be charged a $1 installment fee for each payment. If any payment is late, you’ll also be subject to late payment fees.
- Tempting to overspend. Another drawback of using the buy-now-pay-later payment method is that it can be tempting to overspend — similar to using a credit card. Because Zip allows you to divide your payments into four equal interest-free installments, it makes it seem like you have more money to spend. So it’s important to be mindful of your spending when using Zip and only charge what you can afford to pay back.
- Can be reported to collections. If you fail to make your installment payments, your account could be reported to collections. This can damage your credit score and make it difficult to get loans or lines of credit in the future. Not to mention you’ll also incur late fees, which can end up costing you more than if you had paid for the purchase in full upfront
- You are limited to buying at stores that partner with Zip. To qualify for Zip financing you must shop at one of the stores in its directory, which could cramp your style when you’re looking for deals.
So, if you’re considering using Zip, be aware that there are fees and risks associated with the service. Whether or not it’s worth it for you will depend on the cost of the item you’re buying and your personal financial situation.
Buy Now, Pay Later plans can be a smart way to spread out the cost of a large purchase. But before you agree to a buy now pay later loan, make sure you understand the costs and check whether you can find the item you are shopping for cheaper somewhere else. If you can, it may be better to either save up for your purchase or get financing yourself through another lender. SuperMoney makes it easy to compare leading lenders with only one form and without hurting your credit.
Does QuadPay run your credit?
Zip only performs a soft credit check — instead of a hard credit check — when you apply. This means your credit score should not suddenly drop after going through the application process.
What happens if I don’t pay QuadPay?
If you don’t make your Zip installment payments on time, you’ll be charged late payments fees. For example, if you miss a scheduled payment and don’t process a payment before midnight on the day it is due, you may be charged a $7 default fee and a further $7 for every week it is outstanding. So it’s important to make sure you have money in your account in advance of your payments coming out. But this doesn’t mean you can keep delaying payment and incur late fees indefinitely. If your installments have been past-due for an extended period, your QuadPay account could be sent to collections. And when this happens, your credit score could take a major hit.
If you find yourself in financial hardship and can’t make payments on time, reach out to Zip. You can request to move a payment date by contacting Zip directly. Just be sure to do so at least 24 hours before the payment due date.
Can I use QuadPay at Walmart?
Yes, you can use Zip (QuadPay) when shopping at Walmart. However, since Walmart requires customers to use the Walmart app for in-store purchases, the checkout process might look a little bit different:
- Open the Zip mobile application and make an in-store purchase request for the amount you want to spend at Walmart.
- Then, input the Zip virtual credit card details in the payment method section of the Walmart app.
- Complete the transaction by scanning the QR code at the register.
Can you pay for gas with QuadPay?
Yes, you can pay for gas with Zip. In fact, Zip currently has a partnership with Chevron, allowing drivers to pay for gas in four installments over a six-week timeframe. You would fill up your tank and shop at Chevron like normal, but at checkout, you’ll use the Zip virtual card as your payment method.
Can I pay my installments off early?
Yes, you can certainly pay off your installments early. Simply log into your Zip account, go to the “Orders” tab, and find the order you want to make payments for. Then, select “Pay” for each installment.
- Zip, previously known as QuadPay, is a platform that allows you to spread purchase amounts across four payments.
- Unlike a credit card, Zip doesn’t charge interest. However, if you fail to make on-time payments, you’ll be charged late payment fees. And if your installments have been past-due for an extended period, Zip could send your account to collections.
- It’s tempting to overspend with Zip since you’re only paying 25% of the item price upfront. So before purchasing with Zip, make sure you’re not overextending yourself.
- During the application process, Zip runs a soft credit check to get a sense of how well you’re managing your credit. Thankfully, unlike a hard inquiry, soft credit checks won’t affect your credit score.
View Article Sources
- Retail Installment Contract — Zip
- Our public inquiry on buy now, pay later — Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- The Future of Fintech In A Coronavirus World — SuperMoney
- Banking Guide — SuperMoney
- How Do Prepaid Debit Cards Work? — SuperMoney
- What is Afterpay and How Does It Work? — SuperMoney
- Best Checking Accounts With No Overdraft Fees | April 2022 — SuperMoney
- Apple Pay vs. Google Wallet: A Comparison of Mobile Payment Systems — SuperMoney