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Zilch Review: Is It the Best BNPL App Out There?


How many times have you left your favorite dress, shoes, or beauty product in the cart due to lack of money? If you ask me personally, I would say many times, especially when its month-end. However, ever since I heard the concept of BNPL apps, I couldn’t resist myself trying them. And in my search for the best BNPL app in the UK, I founded Zilch. It is basically a BNPL app like Klarna, Clearpay, and Laybuy. 

What makes Zlich stand apart from its competitors and encourage us to choose it is that it gives freedom to shop from anywhere that accepts Mastercard (which is widely accepted in the UK). Additionally, if you don’t want to use the Buy Now Pay Later services, you can directly sign up and get a £5 Welcome Bonus that requires no minimum spend. Its reward system is probably the best thing a BNPL app could have.

In this post, I will share my honest review of Zilch based on my personal experience. Ultimately, you will have enough information regarding whether it's the best BNPL app for you! So, let's start this detailed Zilch Review. 


What is Zilch?

Zilch is a “Buy Now Pay Later" service that offers virtual credit cards to purchase your favorite products online. Established in 2018, Zilch aims to provide people with the credit they deserve. The service allows users to make purchases and pay them off over time. 

The payment structure involves four payments over six weeks. What sets Zilch apart is its zero-interest policy and absence of hidden fees.  

Zilch offers a virtual card that links to users' bank accounts through open banking, taking into account what they can afford. This ensures that users spend within their means, promoting responsible financial behavior.

Moreover, Zilch offers flexible payment solutions for both online and in-store transactions. It also provides features like Zilch Rewards, Zilch Snooze, and Zilch Boost to enhance the user experience. 

How Does Zilch Work?

Zilch basically works as a virtual credit card that operates through an app. After setting up an account and linking a payment method, you'll receive your Zilch virtual card. 

To make purchases, you'll need to activate the card either online or within the app. There are hundreds of online stores, including Amazon and eBay, where you can use your card. 

If you can't find your preferred store, you can use the 'Try Anywhere' feature, which allows you to shop at any other online or physical store.

When it comes to payment, you have two options:

  • Pay the entire amount upfront, which entitles you to a 0.5% cashback at participating stores.
  • Opt for the 'Pay in 4' plan, which requires you to pay 25% of the total cost upfront, 25% after 2 weeks, 25% after 4 weeks, and the remaining 25% after 6 weeks. This option usually comes with a £2.50 fee.

If you don't have reward credits (you can use your Welcome Bonus), the fee is deducted from the payment method you initially linked to your account (like a debit card). You also have the option to pay using Apple Pay. 

Key Features of Zilch

The best thing about Zilch remains its features, which are enough to captivate any potential user. Here’s what we have found interesting about Zilch:


Ad-Subsidised Payment Network (ASPN)

Zilch's ASPN establishes a direct connection between businesses and consumers. It uses proprietary data to provide tailored discounts and savings to consumers based on their past spending patterns. 

ASPN is dependent on transactions made with Zilch's virtual card, which generate ad revenue that is partially given back to the customers. This model benefits both businesses, who get access to a ready-to-purchase audience, and customers, who receive rewards for using their Zilch card.

Pay Now

Zilch offers its customers an over-the-top (OTT) virtual debit card payment solution, enabling them to earn up to 5% in cashback and rewards on both online and physical store debit purchases.

“Pay Over 6 Weeks” and “Pay Over 3 Months”

Zilch customers have the option to switch from "Instant Pay" to "Six-Week Spread" or "Three-Month Spread" within the app. This allows them to distribute their interest-free credit repayments over a period of six weeks or three months. If all repayments are made promptly, customers can improve their credit ratings with major credit reference agencies.

Zilch Up

In October 2023, Zilch introduced Zilch Up, a product aimed at promoting financial inclusivity. It enables customers to build their credit ratings without accruing interest. It offers users the flexibility to choose payment plans, such as an initial 50% installment with the remaining balance payable over six weeks. 


Is Zilch Safe and Legal to Use?

Yes, Zilch is a legal and safe platform, with a high rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. It is a PCI DSS Level 1 certified compliant service provider, meeting requirements to prevent data breaches and payment card fraud.

Zilch is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It obtained its consumer credit license through the Regulatory Sandbox Programme. This regulation ensures that Zilch adheres to strict standards to protect consumers' financial interests.

In terms of data security, Zilch has implemented robust measures to safeguard user data. It collects, uses, discloses, and processes personal information in compliance with its privacy policy. 

Overall, Zilch is both safe and legal to use. It operates under regulatory approval and has stringent security measures in place to protect user data and privacy. However, as with any financial service, we advice users to use it responsibly.

What is Zilch Credit Limit?

When you sign up for a Zilch account, the app runs a soft credit check of your profile that doesn’t have any effect on your credit score. Based on the assessment, you will be offered an initial credit limit of up to £200. This can be less due to your low credit score. 

If you continue to use your Zilch account and services effectively and make timely payments, your credit limit will increase over time. However, if you fail to do so, you might face penalties or even permanent suspension of your account. 

What is the Zilch Installment Payment Schedule?

As said earlier, Zilch lets you pay in two ways: pay the entire amount in one go and earn 0.5% cashback, or pay 25% amount upfront and the rest in four installments. The breakdown of the Zilch installment schedule is as follows:  

  • 33% within 14 days
  • 33% within the next 28 days
  • 33% within the next 42 days.

You can even pay them early. The payment will be directly deducted from your linked bank account on the scheduled day. While signing up, you will need to sign up for a direct debit mandate. However, Zilch will keep you sending payment pending notifications 2 days prior to your due date. 

How to Sign Up for Zilch?

You will need some valid documents to sign up for Zilch, which we will discuss below. Here’s how you can sign up for a Zilch account: 

  • Go to the Zilch app or website and tap on the ‘Create Account.’ 
  • Enter your personal information, including name, email, phone number, and some sort of financial information. 
  • You will need to have a valid UK debit card and a UK-based postal address to proceed. Additionally, you will need Proof of Address (PoF) and Proof of Identity (PoI) for the Zilch card. 
  • Now, the app will run a soft credit check. 
  • After that, a credit limit will be approved, and your account will be activated. 
  • You can now use Zilch to buy your favorite products and pay for them later. 

How do you Get Free Money on Zilch?

Zilch offers several ways to get free money. You can make money with Zilch through its rewards program. When you choose to "Pay it all now" for your purchases, Zilch gives you 2% cash back in Zilch Rewards. This essentially means free money, as 100 Zilch Rewards equals $1, which you can use for future purchases.


Another way to earn free money on Zilch is through their referral program. By signing up using a referral link, connecting a debit card, and making a contactless payment using your Zilch card, you can claim a free £5. Zilch also occasionally offers free vouchers. For instance, you may be eligible for a free Amazon voucher after signing up and linking a bank card.

Is Zilch Worth All The Hype?

If you ask us, we will definitely say Yes. We were really impressed with the Zilch app. Literally, it's like having a mini ATM in your pocket. You can buy anything and pay for it in easy EMIs. Before using Zilch, I wasn’t a supporter of BNPL apps as they promote poor money management, but now I don’t think so. 

If used effectively, you can even earn from it. You just don’t have to do anything; just buy the product, pay 25% upfront, and choose the installment plan. That’s so super easy. Isn’t it? Well, it is definitely worth a try. But if you have used it before and it isn’t turned out to be best for you, here are some best alternatives to Zilch you can try in 2024. 

Top 5 Zilch Alternatives in 2024

As we move further into 2024, the demand for flexible payment solutions continues to rise. Zilch has been a popular choice for many, but several other alternatives offer similar services. Here are the top five Zilch alternative in 2024:

1. Klarna

Klarna Launches In Australia - APAC Insider

Klarna offers point-of-sale installment loans for customers and is partnered with over 200,000 sellers and merchants. In 2024, Klarna introduced an AI assistant for customer service and announced new features like a 24/7 customer service expert and secure payment options.

2. GoCardless

GoCardless is a payment processing software that supports over 30 countries with pre-built payment flows and automated alerts. 

It allows businesses to build customized recurring payment plans and take Direct Debit payments on their websites. It also provides a dashboard for managing payment plans and transactions.

3. Sezzle

Sezzle Review: Guide to Buy Now Pay Later (2024) | Cushion.ai

Sezzle offers interest-free installment plans, allowing customers to buy now and pay later. It has partnered with thousands of stores and products, making it a convenient option for small purchases. In 2024, Sezzle reported increased consumer engagement and a rise in underlying merchant sales.

4. PayPal Pay Later

A globally recognized payment solution, PayPal offers a comprehensive suite of payment options, including online checkout and POS systems. It accepts multiple forms of payment, including Venmo, PayPal, and cryptocurrency. 

Recently, PayPal introduced several new features - Paypal Pay Later. The other features of the app include a transformed checkout, Fastlane by PayPal, Smart Receipts, and an advanced offers platform.

5. PayPal Credit


An extension of PayPal, PayPal Credit provides a reusable credit line with no interest if paid in full in 6 months on purchases of $99 or more. It also offers 3% cash back on PayPal purchases and 2% on all other purchases.

Is It Profitable to Develop a BNPL App Like Zilch?

The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) market is booming, with BNPL transactions expected to grow to $450 billion by the end of 2026. Looking at the current statistics, developing a BNPL app can indeed be profitable, given the right strategy and execution.

Firstly, the BNPL model appeals to consumers' desire for financial flexibility. It allows them to make purchases immediately and pay for them over time, often without interest. This convenience can attract a large user base, generating revenue through merchant fees.

Secondly, BNPL apps can leverage data to offer personalized shopping experiences, further enhancing user engagement. They can also incorporate features like budgeting tools or rewards programs to differentiate themselves in the market.

However, it's important to note that the profitability of a BNPL app also depends on managing risks effectively. This includes ensuring robust cybersecurity measures and a thorough credit assessment process to minimize defaults.


What Happens If You Pay Late on Zilch?

If you miss a payment on Zilch, it can negatively impact your credit score and lower your Zilch credit limit. While Zilch doesn't charge late fees, too many missed payments may block your account.

Can you Change the Payment Date on Zilch?

Zilch offers a "Snooze" feature that allows users to extend their payment due date by four days. However, this feature may incur a fee and is only available for specific users.

Can you Pay Early with Zilch?

Yes, you can pay off your Zilch installments at any time before their due dates. Early payments may help increase your credit limit.

Can I Withdraw Money from Zilch?

Zilch is a virtual card that lets you pay online and in-store wherever Mastercard is accepted. However, it does not allow for money withdrawal.

How does Zilch Make Money?

Zilch generates revenue by charging fees to customers and merchants and through interchange fees from its debit card. It also earns advertising revenue each time its customers spend, which is passed on to them in the form of free credit, savings, deals, and discounts.

Raju Ram Khakhal

Raju Ram has 10 years of experience in the IT industry as a web developer and leading mobile app development since 2012. He believes in sharing his strong programming knowledge base with a leaned concentration.

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