These two companies are winning the 'buy now, pay later' race with consumers in the U.S.

Affirm Holdings Inc. website home screen on a laptop computer in an arranged photograph taken in Little Falls, New Jersey.
Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The "buy now, pay later" industry is finally having its moment in the United States, following a surge in adoption due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Buy now, pay later"—the option of paying for goods in installments—grew 215% year over year in the first two months of 2021 in the United States, according to an analysis from Adobe.

In that same two-month period, consumers spent $121 billion online, which is 34% growth year over year.

The service, which gives shoppers financial flexibility at checkout, has also helped merchants.

For retailers, "buy now, pay later" solutions often lead to higher average order volumes. Consumers using these installment payments place orders that are 18% larger than orders placed with other payment methods, Adobe found.