How Zip Works

Zip, formerly "Quadpay," is a provider of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) financing that allows you to pay for a purchase in four installments. It's accepted directly at checkout on websites like and can also be used as a virtual credit card at major retailers like Amazon, Target and Nike.


When logging into the app, you'll first see the amount you're pre-approved to spend at its retail partners (displayed as "available balance"). You're able to search and view online retailers where you can pay with Zip directly at checkout or with their virtual credit card. You can search for brands of interest directly on the home screen or on the "Deals" tab and, once navigating to their site inside the app, can follow them by tapping the button in the upper right-hand corner.

Like most BNPL apps, Zip allows you to apply for a one-time, virtual credit card to shop at retailers where it's not already an option at checkout - both inside the app and in physical stores.


When wanting to use Zip in physical retail stores, you'll follow the normal steps for applying for a virtual credit card inside the app. However, it's not readily clear which retail stores actually accept Zip's virtual card as a mobile payment (my attempt at Rite Aid didn't work). Instead, the app may instruct you to share the card information with the cashier to complete your purchase.

For e-commerce purchases, you'll simply browse retailers websites inside the Zip app and tap the button at the bottom of the screen to apply for a virtual credit card at any point leading up to checkout. One unique aspect to Zip's virtual card is that it can be extended to select phone, internet and cable billers, in addition to online retailers. This feature may be helpful for spacing out the cost of large bills when you're short on cash but, given the monthly nature of bill payments, probably isn't something you want to become a habit.


Zip will send you reminders when a payment is upcoming as well as confirmation e-mails when a payment was successfully received. Inside the app, you can quickly view outstanding loans and upcoming payments the "Orders" tab, along with reporting a return. You may notice that your order total is higher than the actual purchase amount. This is due to the $1 "convenience fee" that Zip charges for each installment.

If you're new to BNPL, you can get in touch Zip customer support directly inside the app. However, its in-app messaging service will first respond to your inquiry with suggested links and, upon request to speak to a rep, can take some time to respond. All in all, it's not much more effective than being pointed to the FAQ page of their website.

Finally, unlike Afterpay and Klarna that reward customers through loyalty programs, Zip does not offer direct incentives for timely repayment of BNPL loans. Truth be told, the Zip app doesn't bring much more to the table than those of other BNPLs, aside from its reasonably easy-to-use user interface.

NOTE: This post was based on Version of the original Quadpay iOS mobile app