Microsoft's Buy Now, Pay Later integration in Edge is highly controversial

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 30, 2021
Microsoft Edge

Microsoft announced a new addition to the company's Microsoft Edge web browser in mid-November. Available only in Insider Builds of Edge at the time, the feature was rolled out in Edge 96 Stable recently.

Microsoft decided to add support for a Buy Now, Pay Later service, provided by ZIP, into Edge. Services such as Zip or Afterpay offer so-called Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services. Shoppers may use them to get items that they buy right away and pay for these items in installments over time.

Microsoft partnered with Zip and Edge users may use the Zip service when they make purchases between $35 and $1000 in the browser, even if the shopping site does not support it.

Edge's integrated BNPL is limited to paying back the owed money in 4 installments over 6 weeks.

Microsoft notes that the integration improves the application process.

Applying BNPL could take time, you need to sign in with zip every single time. With BNPL in Edge, you can simply link your Microsoft account with your zip account with one click and then bypass sign in from Zip side. It can expedite the application process for you.

What Microsoft fails to reveal in the announcement is that Zip is only available in certain regions. According to the homepage, Zip is available in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico.

How Buy Now, Pay Later services work

Buy Now, Pay Later services sound like useful services at first. You can use them to get an item or service immediately, but don't need to pay the full amount right away. If you are short on cash at the moment, but need something immediately, they may be the only option to do so short of selling your soul to a money lender.

There are certain downsides to using these services. Some may charge fees whenever you may payments and others may charge a monthly accounting fee. Late payment charges come into play when customers miss payments, and these may be reported and that may affect the credit line.

Reception has been bad

Microsoft's own blog post on the Insider blog received more than 110 comments at the time of writing. The majority of comments are negative towards the feature. Some see it as unnecessary bloat that is added to the browser, others mention that Microsoft did not mention the $4 processing fee or how it benefits from the integration.

Here are a few examples:

This should be an extension at best. It is not a feature I'm looking for in any browser. Microsoft is a multi-billion dollar company. I doubt whatever Zip is paying you is worth the negative press this will generate.  (user bdpatton)

Also made an account just to reply. I love the new Edge and I've been using it since it came out. Seriously, don't support this. No one needs this. BNPL is just an enabler for people who have a problem. No one should finance online purchases that small. This kind of functionality should definitely, 100%, not be in any browser ever. Please don't add to the debt problems people already have. (user amsprich)

Looks like you neglected to mention the $4 flat fee in the article?

On a $35 purchase, that's 11% of the purchase cost spread over one month. Annualized, that's an astounding 250% APY. Even the most predatory credit cards top out at around 40% APY.

All you've done is just baked predatory loans into your browser. Honestly, you should be ashamed. (user JemmaScout)

Articles, such as Microsoft Edge’s new ‘Buy now, pay later’ feature is the definition of bloatware on XDA Developers, or Paul Thurott's Microsoft Continues to Bog Down Edge with Unnecessary Bloat, criticize the integration of the feature.

XDA Developers point out that Zip is already available as an app and a Chrome browser extension, and that Buy Now, Pay Later schemes are designed to get people tp make more purchases than they would otherwise.

Closing Words

Which features should browsers provide? Most browser makers add features to their browsers that could have been provided as extensions, many do so to distinguish the own browser from others. Some Edge users will find the new functionality useful, others will see it as bloat or even as a reason to switch to another browser.

Now You: what is your take on the integration?

Microsoft's Buy Now, Pay Later integration in Edge is highly controversial
Article Name
Microsoft's Buy Now, Pay Later integration in Edge is highly controversial
Microsoft announced a new addition to the company's Microsoft Edge web browser in mid-November. Available only in Insider Builds of Edge at the time, the feature was rolled out in Edge 96 Stable recently.
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  1. Ray said on December 1, 2021 at 9:03 pm

    Obviously not going to use this feature, but not going to lie, I’ve actually used the built-in coupon feature and was actually handy!

  2. Paul(us) said on December 1, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    Its more than a very bad idea not to save up and then buy,
    Alright a flat or house is a different cup of Thea but for the rest, save up and then buy.

  3. ta8dstv said on December 1, 2021 at 9:30 am

    > what is your take on the integration?

    If this means that idiot users of “Buy Now, Pay Later” helps keep Windows free, then that’s fine by me.

  4. Anonymous said on December 1, 2021 at 2:49 am

    How does anyone still take Microsoft seriously? All the hundreds of millions in government bribery and marketing annually pays off I guess.

  5. Stan said on December 1, 2021 at 1:45 am

    lol, Microsoft sucks.

  6. JonSnow said on December 1, 2021 at 1:12 am

    yeah I am done with this blotted browser too..and the fact that it won’t let me use other browsers as a default on Win 11 it’s a no go Browser.

  7. Anonymous said on December 1, 2021 at 12:35 am

    Thats all Microsoft is good at nowadays. Trying to trick you into using their crappy web services. They suck at making software.

  8. Leland said on November 30, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    Hi Martin. Why an article to inflame peoples opinions. Why not make an article on disabling it which is infinitely more useful. Discussion is good but sometimes a how to article is more useful.

    1. Helpdesk until I die said on November 30, 2021 at 9:58 pm

      I think the article was to inform of its existence. I was not aware of it until today as I don’t read any of the sources in the above article.
      Of course, now that I am aware, I wouldn’t mind knowing how to uninstall if that is possible.

  9. Jake said on November 30, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    The best part about this, and I use that term sarcastically, is that this will be installed onto the user’s computer whether they want it or not, and they can’t get rid of it.

    And if it doesn’t constantly nag them to use it, like every piece of mainstream software does today, I’ll eat my hat.

    1. Tony said on November 30, 2021 at 7:40 pm

      It is easily uninstalled, just not in the conventional way. Some light Google detective work will show you how. Most of the non-techies will probably leave it installed regardless.

  10. ULBoom said on November 30, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    “…owe my soul to the company sto’…”

    MS seems determined to return to the good old days when virtually no one used edge.

    Yet another reason the Internet is crap: sheep trained to expect quick rewards for any action regardless of cost. I woudn’t even consider using online financial services, all of them are leeches.

  11. Tony said on November 30, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    I wonder if this involves a credit check. Edge was already the worst telemetry-collecting browser, so if they add credit scores to this, they are really building a profile.

    The sooner everyone uninstalls Edge, the better.

  12. Bob B. said on November 30, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    After my initial enthusiasm for the Edge browser I am disillusioned now about the direction it is heading in. I have pretty much abandoned it now in favor of another Chromium based browser.

    1. ShintoPlasm said on November 30, 2021 at 8:28 pm

      Microsoft are putting even Opera’s prefatory tactics to shame.

  13. JohnIL said on November 30, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    This sort of thing promotes bad spending habits and gets people into debt they cannot afford. Wouldn’t doubt Microsoft gets a cut from this in some way. Many sites offer buy now pay later options. Probably similar terms and maybe even better terms. Why Microsoft would bake this into Edge has to be for some sort of kick back. Doing deals with these loan sharks hardly benefits users who may get into serious financial problems because of it. Making money too easy to get isn’t doing anyone a favor. I am seriously going to have to considering dropping Edge all together.

  14. Herman Cost said on November 30, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    Quite simply, this is a disgrace. Its hard to understand the thought process that led to Microsoft deciding that preying on poor/financially/unsophisticated people is a good idea.

    1. Mikhoul said on November 30, 2021 at 4:34 pm

      It’s not hard it’s called CAPITALISM.

  15. Mario said on November 30, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    I think the stats from the Microsoft blog post linked to in the article pretty much sum up the feeling towards the “Buy Now, Pay Later” service built into Edge. 42.4K Views, 119 Replies and only 1 Like (probably the article writer).

    I have been (and still am currently) using Microsoft Edge, as I need to use a Chromium-based browser and initially Edge fitted the requirements. However, I agree with the poster further up: for about a year now Microsoft just keep adding crap after crap to the browser with every update. Not to mention they keep pestering users to change the default search engine back to Bing. Therefore, I am also pretty fed up with it and am looking to change to something else.

    Vivaldi are a viable option, however they have also lost the plot recently and decided to build “Outlook Express” into their browser – which could also be defined as bloat. Apparently Zawinski’s law still lives on.

    It’s unfortunate that Firefox isn’t Chromium-based, then my problems would be solved as I like Firefox a lot. The reality is, a lot of web developers are building for just two browsers: Chrome and Safari. When I asked a couple of different web developers why, they said those two browsers are the only ones their clients are interested in and their clients won’t pay for them to develop for, or even test, against anything other than those two. And this is reflective in the real world; some features of some sites (I.E. game streaming, video conferencing, interactive 3D mapping, etc.) will only work in Safari or Chromium-based browsers. As the web continues to evolve and gets even more advanced, this will likely get even worse.

    1. Chris said on November 30, 2021 at 10:39 pm

      You can just use a chromium build. Chromium without any kind of bloat. You don’t need an Inc. as middleman to get a fully working chromium build. The Marmaduke builds are great, they support everything you may need like widevine for game streaming, video conferencing etc, they are clean, they are portable and you can install extensions to them if needed.

  16. Darthagnon said on November 30, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    Wondering, does this change affect the Edgium webview2?

  17. ShintoPlasm said on November 30, 2021 at 10:51 am

    Wow. That’s impressive even for a money-obsessive company like Microsoft.

    1. Leopeva64 said on November 30, 2021 at 11:52 am

      Speaking of Edge, in the Canary version Microsoft has enabled the “Tab Search” feature by default (it is no longer necessary to use a command line flag to enable it):

      Microsoft has also enabled a keyboard shortcut to open the menu.

  18. Anonymous said on November 30, 2021 at 9:40 am

    If there were 100 reasons to not use Edge before, this would make it Social Consceince #101.

  19. JimmyQ said on November 30, 2021 at 8:51 am

    Just another reason to stay away from Edge and use a more privacy oriented web browser.

  20. Dumbledalf said on November 30, 2021 at 8:49 am

    Edge has becoming a bloatware/malware for quite some time and I’ve been saying it for about a year now when they started adding useless features to it left and right.

    At first Edge seemed faster than Chrome and I thought it would steal away some users, but now I think Chrome is superior (not that I use it) simply due to the fact that it’s a more clean and bare-bones experience and you can add what you want through extensions.

    Microsoft could have easily made all their specific features into extensions and upon first launching the browser, the user is presented with a list of these features with a switch next to them and they can choose which ones they want and which ones they don’t and when flipping the switch to ON, Edge downloads and installs the extensions, the ones ignored don’t get downloaded or installed.

    It’s quite simple, I don’t know why Microsoft want to be so over-bearing with Edge, they have completely ruined it and now aside from Average Joes, and maybe some Microsoft fanboys, I don’t see who will use it.

    I, for one, have uninstalled Edge as the first thing I did on my Windows 11 install.

    1. Anonymous said on December 1, 2021 at 4:45 am

      I agree. I’m using Edge because it’s faster and snappier than Chrome. If Edge keeps bloating the browser and makes it slow, I might change my browser again..
      Can anyone suggest me a browser?
      I tried Vivaldi and Firefox, Firefox has memory leak issues(becomes really slow overtime) and Vivaldi has a lot of features but is too heavy for me.

      1. Iron Heart said on December 1, 2021 at 10:01 am


        > Can anyone suggest me a browser? I tried Vivaldi and Firefox, Firefox has memory leak issues(becomes really slow overtime) and Vivaldi has a lot of features but is too heavy for me.

        Brave is closer to stock Chromium than Vivaldi. There are also Kiwi and Bromite on Android.

    2. ??? said on November 30, 2021 at 7:15 pm

      I don’t understand why some people ever thought that Microsoft would ever create a decent browser given their history. The more it goes away from Chromium and the more Microsoft is “working” on it, the more bloatware and bad it will become.

    3. common sense computing said on November 30, 2021 at 12:46 pm

      I use Edge and I’m more intelligent than your entire extended family. I’m not going to list any reasons why. This post just makes me feel better about making bad software decisions, such as using a garbage beta like Win 11.

      This post is sarcasm in response to Dumbledalf making childish, substance free insults in a recent other comment. You don’t sound half as smart as you think you do. Dunning-Kruger in effect.

      1. ULBoom said on November 30, 2021 at 3:59 pm

        @ common sense computing

        Dunning-Kruger much?

  21. Corky said on November 30, 2021 at 8:42 am

    I’d pretty much echo the first comment you posted in the article, why a billion dollar company feels the need to partner with a loan shark is beyond me.

    1. Frederika said on November 30, 2021 at 11:26 am

      Simple answer : more money, always more (funny for a woke, leftist company)

      1. Corky said on November 30, 2021 at 7:36 pm

        @Frederika: Take your culture wars some place else.

      2. Michael Gould said on November 30, 2021 at 5:14 pm

        Are you saying only left wing companies do this? I guess you have never of predatory lenders. Any online sales company is always looking for additional revenue. This is not a left thing. I hate this feature, however if there were no Microsoft there would not be many PC’s with a common operating system. There is always Apple but the cost of their hardware is too expensive for mostly off shelf components

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