Klarna’s UK survey reveals holiday spending concerns, with 36% fearing credit card debt, 56% worrying about accrued debt.

Based on recent data, more than one-third (36%) of UK consumers think they won’t be able to pay off their holiday credit card bills in full. Klarna is an AI-powered global payments network and shopping assistant.

won’t be able to pay

Meanwhile, a recent Klarna poll found that 56% of all UK consumers worry about accruing credit card debt over the holidays. This is why 82% of respondents think it’s helpful to have the option to divide payments into equal portions during the holidays without incurring additional costs (like BNPL).

Based on a poll of more than 15,000 customers in 15 markets, including more than 1,000 in the UK, the latest Klarna research set out to investigate the major trends influencing the payments and retail industries this holiday season.

But BNPL wasn’t the only tactic that surfaced as a popular choice among consumers trying to cut costs. Indeed, up to 26% of UK consumers are looking at AI to improve their holiday shopping experience.

Finding sales and discounts (54%) and price comparison (51%), as well as budget management (44%), were the top draws for those who were open to AI. Klarna also discovered that when it comes to holiday shopping in particular, customers find the most value from AI in time savings (35%) and discovering things they might not have otherwise thought to buy (23%).

Is Black Friday the store that saves money?

For many people, Black Friday has grown in importance as a holiday leading up to Christmas. A little lower than in 2022 (67%), sixty-three percent of UK consumers are certain they will shop on Black Friday or are thinking about doing so.

Sixty-one percent of consumers wait for Black Friday sales to purchase expensive goods (furniture, jewelry, and gadgets), a sharp increase from the 47 percent who did so the year before.

42% of respondents say they will only purchase items they can afford, and 41% say they will only purchase items they would have purchased regardless, albeit at a lower cost.

The reason BNPL options are still so popular was provided by Raji Behal, head of Klarna’s Western and Southern Europe, UK, and Ireland division: “Klarna’s latest research reveals a more comprehensive story of fiscal awareness and frugal spending during the holidays in the face of a difficult financial environment and worries about credit card debt.

This holiday season, more than half of UK consumers are cautious about credit card debt, and more than one-third are unsure about their capacity to pay off their credit card payments in full.

In light of this, it’s not surprising that 82% of consumers find interest-free payment plans like BNPL enticing. They also tend to make frugal decisions, utilizing tech-savvy tools like AI to find the best deals and taking advantage of sales events like Black Friday to save money on large purchases.

Three-quarters of those who are hesitant to use AI to assist them with their holiday shopping said that their primary motivation is the satisfaction they derive from doing their own shopping.

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