Sezzle empowers young adults to save money for future expenditures or finance their current Sezzle installments. The platform offers a variety of features, including the Sezzle Points program, which creates an innovative space for young adults to shop from expertly curated collections of merchants using

their earned Sezzle points. Sezzle's mission is to promote financial empowerment for the next generation by fostering a sustainable cycle of mindful spending, responsible budgeting, and savings. This approach enables customers to establish strong financial habits.

This project is to revitalize Sezzle by developing a new platform. In collaboration with Cornell Tech students, we conducted comprehensive research to analyze the company, identify challenges, and propose solutions that have the potential to elevate the brand's presence and impact.

DATE                  Jan 2022 - May 2022

TAGS                  UI/UX, Product Studio

INSTRUCTOR    Josh Hartmann

DESIGNER         Jialin Huang    


// Research

The Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) industry is highly lucrative and competitive as its landscape keeps changing with new upcoming competitors and acquisitions. The BNPL ecosystem consists of consumers, retailers, creditors, and financial institutions.

// What is BNPL?

Sezzle ’s mantra of “Doing Business with a Purpose”  

// Platform Analysis

Lastly with the numerous breaches of secure information such as Solarwinds, Equifax, Capital One etc. leaking of private data could is a major concern that never truly is solved.

// Competitive Company


Klarna offers Muti BNPL financing options. Users can split their cost into four payments with no interest fee. Klarna's users enjoy 30 days of no-reason-to-return with no interest fee.


Affirm provides the BNPL purchases of up to $175,000. Affirm brands themselves as a company with  no hidden, extra and late fees, providing users with financial loans.


Uplift provides BNPL options for financing travel by leveraging their partnerships in the airline and cruise industry. However they are not providing any BNPL support for dailylife products.


Afterpay offers a BNPL model that is very similar to Sezzle. Users can choose to split their purchases in six weeks with no interest fee. Afterpay will charge for the late payments, and they will keep track of users who are---delinquent in their payments.


Balance is a B2B e-commerce platform that offers self-serve checkout between businesses and merchants, assisting with b2b payments ranging from wire transfers, ACH, cards, automatic payments etc.


Paypal is one of the companies leading with the highest user market penetration in the BNPL industry. PayPal provides users a six month window without any interest.

// Interview

I am honored to interview six students from Cornell Tech and Parsons School of Design, as well as one instructor who is currently working in Sezzle Product Management Department, to get in-depth of the user experience and to seek further explanation from the designer's perspective. I have collected their feedback of Sezzle and user experiences with other BNPL service providers.

// Business Model Canvas

Product Narrative - (Sezzle Safe)

Sezzle Safe helps to fulfil the financial empowerment aims for next generation shoppers. Sezzle users can build a responsible financial foundation by building credit scores, managing expenses and income; Shoppers on Sezzle get faster approvals, no interest payments and improved credit scores long term. SezzleRound supports users' small purchases through BNPL. At the same time Sezzle supports users' large spending goals, for instance, medical emergencies and big  retail purchases during sales season. Sezzle Safe also illustrates to new customers what a previous successful buyer's journey looked like. When  looking at successful buyers' journeys, Sezzle Safe suggests to current users that they deposit an additional 5% of their everytime purchases with Sezzle and thus save for the future.

// Solution

After my ideation, I make a questionnaire and receive 159 responses based on their interested in BNPL and Sezzle Save program. By studying their daily consumption behavior. I got the result below:

  • Practicablity of a spending habit tracking tool
  • Helpfulness of personalised recommendations
  • Inclination towards having anonymized data on spending habits shared it with partner merchants for discounts/Sezzle points
  • Using a “help you build you” model to save while purchasing something
  • Preferred percentage of savings if inclined towards doing so



Add item to shopping cart

We initiated offline testing for two scenarios, simulating a checkout interface to evaluate the practicality of the 'round up' feature for our test group.


Enter shipping address

Users input their shipping address.

Experiment A

Sezzle Safe after checkout

Introducing Sezzle Safe after the checkout process, directing interested users to the Sezzle website for more information.

Experiment B

Sezzle Safe during checkout

The Sezzle Safe round-up feature automatically transfers 5% of the total purchase price to the user's Sezzle Wallet. This functionality promotes financial empowerment by encouraging responsible spending and saving habits.

// Results

75% of respondents, they expressed a preference for seeing the Sezzle Save option during the checkout process. Some respondents mentioned that they tend to exit the checkout interface swiftly after completing their payment, resulting in little attention paid to any advertisements displayed after the transaction is approved.

// Prototest

Login and select the items you want to buy

Select items through filter

Make purchases using Sezzle save

Introduce to Sezzle Save

Welcome to Sezzle

Introduce to Sezzle Save (Desktop Website)