CANBERRA, AAP – The Afterpay revolution provided billions of dollars of benefits to the Australian economy during last year’s recession, fuelling jobs growth and helping consumers turn their backs on expensive credit cards.

These are just some of the findings in research conducted by Accenture into the Buy Now Pay Later service provider.

It found Afterpay provided $3 billion in net benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic and Australia’s first recession in 30 years.

Retailers and small and medium-sized business enjoyed $6 billion in incremental sales, including $510 million for regional merchants.

Accenture managing director Andrew Charlton said the Afterpay revolution was a win for both consumers and merchants.

“For consumers, Afterpay offers the ability to budget and simplifies purchasing without the payment of interest and credit card fees,” he said.

“For retailers and small business during the pandemic, Afterpay was an invaluable sales channel, allowing them to connect to internet-savvy, budget-conscious consumers.”

At the same time, it improved retailers’ operating efficiencies.

The research also found Afterpay users saved $110 million compared to what they would have paid making the same purchases with credit cards.

The pandemic further accelerated the decline in credit card usage, as consumers sought more control over their spending.

The report also calculated Afterpay spending helped support 63,000 jobs, including 11,000 jobs directly employed by merchants in sales operations

An additional 33,000 jobs were supported indirectly in areas such as logistics, advertising and market research.