As gas prices continue to increase across the nation amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, "buy now, pay later" companies like Klarna and Zip have partnered with gas stations to provide consumers with options to stretch out their payments.
Both Klarna and Zip are payment options at Texaco and Chevron gas stations, where you can choose to split up your (now inevitably sky-high) gas payments into four payments due over six weeks.
Klarna’s pay-later option requires you to first create a digital in-store card in the Klarna app. The virtual card feature is a way pay-later companies are extending their reach from online purchases into physical retail.
The idea of paying later for gas isn’t new. Gas companies introduced payment cards decades before general-purpose credit cards were available. Chevron, Texaco, Shell, ExxonMobil and others have long offered fuel cards that offer discounts on gas.
The partnerships are also not Chevron’s first venture into the digital payments world. It announced it would accept Venmo for gas purchases on its Chevron and Texaco apps back in 2020.
Critics of "buy now, pay later" services have pointed out evidence that consumers are having trouble keeping up with all of their pay-later payments — and even keeping track of all the purchases they put on short-term installment plans.