Amazon UK begins offering loans for pricier purchases

Instalment plans are its latest weapon against High Street retailers.

In a bid to put an even bigger squeeze on its brick-and-mortar competition, Amazon is now offering its customers instalment plans to help them buy the more expensive items on its website. According to The Guardian, Brits can now select Amazon's Pay Monthly option at the checkout, letting them pay for orders totalling more than £400 over a series of instalments. These loans, which are only provided once a customer passes an online credit check, can be spread over two, three or four years depending on the order amount and are charged at a current interest rate of 16.9 percent.

The new purchasing option is liking to put retailers like John Lewis and Argos on high alert, as Amazon looks to increase sales of furniture, big box electricals and white goods. Customers don't need to pay a deposit either, as their initial payment will count as their first monthly instalment. Right now, only items sold and shipped directly by the company are covered by Amazon Pay Monthly. However, it does mean that Prime products are eligible, letting shoppers to buy now and pay later on thousands of same-day items.