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Buy Now Pay Later bill will help prevent family violence and support financial wellbeing for women

Media release

Thursday 6 June 2024

Good Shepherd welcomes the introduction of a bill by the Australian Government to regulate Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) credit products to protect people from harmful and abusive debt.

Governments need to continue to update legislation as new financial products emerge to protect consumers by ensuring that any credit provider responsibly assesses what is safe and suitable for individual customers– including BNPL credit.

The BNPL bill (Treasury Laws Amendment (Responsible Buy Now Pay Later and Other Measures) Bill 2024) helps protect women from family violence, especially from financial abuse.

Good Shepherd is a national provider of family and domestic violence and financial capability and counselling services. Financial abuse is a common form of abuse experienced by the victim survivors we work with. Almost 70% of Good Shepherd’s financial services practitioners repeatedly see the harms of BNPL-related financial abuse among clients who present with BNPL debts.

Perpetrators may coerce women to sign up for a BNPL account, or fraudulently use their personal details to accrue debts through BNPL. Equally, victim survivors may be forced to turn to Buy Now Pay Later when their access to money, or ability to cover living expenses, is controlled or restricted by an abusive partner.

This legislation will end the opportunity that unregulated BNPL credit gives to perpetrators of family violence to commit financial abuse by requiring some basic checks and balances.

However, we would like to highlight that one problematic presumption in the current draft of the legislation is the assumption that smaller debts, those under $2000, are harmless and meet people’s needs.

BNPL is a highly gendered phenomenon tied to women’s economic insecurity. Good Shepherd sees women owing crushing debts across multiple smaller BNPL accounts. Smaller BNPL amounts create opportunities for financial abuse perpetrators. The legislation could better protect women from financial abuse and hardship by making BNPL providers check whether the approval process for any BNPL amount – large or small – protects customers against financial harm.

For more information on Good Shepherd’s position on the Treasury Laws Amendment Bill go to:


Media contact:

James Lye, General Manager, Marketing and Communications