British banking group NatWest is reportedly planning its foray into the burgeoning buy now, pay later (BNPL) market later this year.

According to a report by Vicky Shaw on Independent, the service will be available at nearly all places that accept Mastercard.

BNPL enables customers to make purchases and split the bill into several repayments.

NatWest noted that it will also take steps to ensure affordable lending and categories such as cash advances, balance transfers and gambling will not be included.

NatWest retail banking CEO David Lindberg was quoted by the report as saying: “There is a clear demand for buy now, pay later and we are determined to make it better and safer.

“We have listened to our customers and are excited to provide them with a proposition that gives them greater flexibility to manage their finances.

“Customers told us they value fraud protection on purchases and useful tools and reminders to help them budget. They also like the convenience of managing buy now, pay later purchases alongside their other NatWest accounts in our award-winning app.”

Initially, the new offering, which will come with a fixed credit limit, will be available to NatWest customers. Later, the service may be expanded to include Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Ulster Bank customers.

Mastercard UK and Ireland division president Kelly Devine said: “Offering people choice in how they pay is at the heart of what we do, so we are working closely with NatWest Group to give customers greater flexibility and control in how they pay and where they shop.

“Buy now, pay later has become a popular means to spread the cost of a purchase and with NatWest, we are co-creating a solution which benefits from Mastercard’s reach as well as our trusted relationships with consumers.”