Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

BillEase raises US$20m to bolster financial inclusion for Filipinos

Manila, Philippines – BillEase, a consumer finance app in the Philippines, has closed an up to US$ 20m debt facility arranged by Helicap Securities, a Singapore-based financial technology company providing private debt investment opportunities for accredited and institutional investors, bringing the total raised by the lending platform to US$55m in debt and equity.

BillEase said that it is well positioned to further expand the reach of its financial services in a market where low-cost credit is not accessible enough for many consumers. The Philippines is amongst the emerging markets with low credit card penetration but has a tech-savvy and digitally-forward population, creating more growth opportunities and capturing a largely underserved market for the company.

Earlier this year, BillEase raised US$11m in a Series B round led by BurdaPrincipal Investments, the growth capital arm of German media and tech company Hubert Burda Media. Centauri – a joint investment vehicle of MDI Ventures and KB Investment, 33 Capital, and Raisin DS CEO Tamaz Georgadze also joined the round. While in March, BillEase also raised US$20m in secured debt from the UK-based Lendable, an emerging market credit provider, to further accelerate the growth of its lending products.

Georg Steiger, CEO and co-founder of BillEase, commented that they are delighted to have secured a new facility which will further grow and expand their loan portfolio, demonstrating the confidence private investors have in their sustained growth trajectory and profitability.

“Being able to collateralise our loan book allows us to access funding to continue serving our fast-growing, underserved customer base. Our new funding comes at the right time as we develop and launch new products and continue to see strong growth. At the same time maintaining profitability means we can be a sustainable and long-term partner for consumers and merchants,” Steiger said.

Meanwhile, Zhiwei Tan, executive director of Helicap Securities, said that they are excited to support BillEase’s growth with this debt facility, and they are impressed by the company’s growth over the past 3 years and its mission to further financial inclusion in the Philippines. 

“The rising acceptance of digital payments is changing the landscape of consumer lending and we are seeing BillEase as one of the few companies that can leverage and scale with the use of their AI-driven credit engine which allows them to offer consumer-centric, responsible financial products and highly personalized digital experience,” added Tan.

This year, BillEase has also launched its in-store QR payment to tap into payment transactions that usually happen offline as well as payment links which are now highly used in social commerce, allowing the company to offer an omnichannel shopping and payment experience for both customers and its merchants.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

BillEase, OpenFabric partner to launch new integration solution for merchants

Manila, Philippines – The Philippine-based buy-now-pay-later platform, BillEase, has partnered with OpenFabric, a technology company that builds infrastructure for payments and financial services, to launch its new integration stack for large enterprise merchants and payment gateways looking for same-day integration of BNPL service. This will allow any business to rapidly offer instalment payment plans for their customers. 

Through this solution, merchants can use BillEase’s agnostic software development kit (SDK), which is powered by OpenFabric, to easily add BillEase to their platform. The new stack allows merchant technical teams to deploy a BNPL solution in just one to three days, versus the usual integration that takes months to complete, hence saving about 95% of developer time.

Georg Steiger, CEO and co-founder of BillEase, commented that they are excited to launch this integration solution with OpenFabric to further smoothen the integration work for merchants looking for an instalment option at checkout.

“We continue to develop and launch new ways for merchants to easily launch point-of-sale financing without spending too much time and effort integrating our platform,” said Steiger.

Meanwhile, Soma Ramasamy, CEO and co-founder of OpenFabric, shared that at OpenFabric, they help fintech companies to accelerate their merchant acceptance footprint at scale via simple and quick integrations.

“We’re excited to introduce this solution with BillEase and accelerate their merchant onboarding process by providing a quick and easily implementable solution for all kinds of merchants’ shopping carts and payment platforms,” said Ramasamy.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

BillEase’s US$11m funding to accelerate customer growth, develop new products

Manila, Philippines – BillEase, a local buy-now-pay-later platform, has recently closed its US$11m series B funding, targeted at growing its consumer base, enhancing and developing new products for the platform, and attracting top talent for the company.

Said funding was led by BurdaPrincipal Investments. Other investors in the round include Centauri, 33 Capital from Singapore, and Tamaz Georgadze, CEO and co-founder of Raisin DS.

Launched in 2017, BillEase provides merchants with installment solutions to boost their conversion rate and average order values by enabling customized installment payment products at checkout. For consumers, BillEase serves as an alternative to credit/debit cards and e-wallets when shopping online.

Speaking about the investment round, Ritche Weekun, co-founder and chief financial officer at First Digital Finance Corporation (FDFC) which operates BillEase, said that their latest round of funding will help them grow at an unprecedented pace, allowing them to further increase financial inclusion in the country.

“The Philippines is expected to be the fastest growing e-commerce market in the ASEAN region over the next 5 years. The country is fast becoming a red hot destination for venture investments as large funds start looking beyond Indonesia and this, in turn, is driving the rapid development of the ecosystem. The events over the last two years have increased the pressure on the fintech space, in particular, to evolve and we’re seeing growing demand for financial products,” Weekun said.

Meanwhile, Georg Steiger, co-founder and CEO at First Digital Finance Corporation (FDFC), commented, “BNPL services often rely on card payments, in the Philippines less than 5% of the adult population owns a credit card and cash on delivery remains the primary mode of payment. To address this problem and expand the target market, we developed our proprietary credit, fraud, and payment stack. While this requires more upfront investment, we are actually solving a more fundamental problem for customers and allows us to create long-term relationships.”

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Fintech Xendit partners with BillEase for cardless installment option in PH

Manila, Philippines – Xendit, the Indonesian-based fintech, has partnered with Philippine-based ‘buy now, pay later’ solutions BillEase in bringing cardless installment options in the Philippines through their new joint solution ‘PayLater’ that allows merchants to offer convenient, card-free installments where the majority of shoppers remain cardless or unbanked.

Xendit, which allows merchants to accept payments online, makes it easier for merchants to provide an affordable and transparent installment option at checkout through a single integration. This means Xendit’s merchants can now add BillEase as a payment option. By offering BillEase at checkout, merchants can give their customers the option to split the cost of their purchases into installments either monthly or bi-weekly with no hidden fees.

Xendit merchants that offer BillEase can allow customers to pay for their purchases online in monthly installments and pay the app over a period of three, six, nine, or 12 months with monthly interest rates between 0 to 3.49%. Merchants can also choose to offer 0 percent annual percentage rate (APR). For example, a PHP 18,000 purchase would only cost PHP 2,500 over 6 months at 0% APR.

Furthermore, the partnership with BillEase allows merchants to connect to Xendit’s API and enable other BillEase’s payment services, namely, ‘Pay in Installments’ which enable customers to enjoy fully-financed purchases and spread payments over time at a zero-to-low interest rate, and ‘Pay with Down Payment’ where customers can pay 1/3 upfront and pay the rest in installments.

“Shoppers are increasingly looking for alternative ways to pay, and merchants who offer flexible payment options can rapidly improve their conversion rates and increase average order value. We’re excited to partner with Xendit to help Filipino merchants grow more by removing unnecessary challenges customers face at checkout, especially for those who are unable to use credit and debit cards,” said Georg Steiger, co-founder and CEO of First Digital Finance Corporation, the fintech behind BillEase.

Yang Yang Zhang, managing director of Xendit Philippines said their partnership aligns with their company’s mission to provide merchants with various payment options to allow their business to grow.

“Partnering with BillEase is crucial as the demand for installment solutions has grown in recent years, partly fueled by the pandemic. Additionally, merchants also see a huge demand from their consumers for this type of payment option. That’s why we’re excited to bring our PayLater solution to online retailers in the country,” Zhang stated.

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

PH digital payment platform BillEase partners with four e-commerce players for ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ integration

Manila, Philippines – Philippine installment payment platform BillEase has announced new partnerships with four ecommerce platforms namely Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento and Prestashop to bring payment installment schemes for merchants and retailers in the country

Merchants that use any of these platforms can now integrate with BillEase and activate ‘Pay Later’, ‘Pay in Installments’ and ‘Pay with Down Payment’, which will provide customers with flexibility in payments and smoother shopping experience.

The multi-platform partnership is in response to retailers doubling their efforts in ‘moving’ their businesses online in the mid of the pandemic. Furthermore, as many Filipinos are still unbanked and uncarded due to signup processes, BillEase provides both merchants and customers ease of service. 

BillEase, which is developed by SEA-focused fintech company First Digital Finance Corporation (FDFC), enables customers to spread the cost of their purchases over time at a low interest rate, giving them flexibility and increased purchasing power. It also allows customers to afford big ticket purchases beyond their credit limit with a down payment solution. 

On the other hand, the payment platform benefits merchants by paying them in full, absorbs all credit and fraud risks through its proprietary credit decisioning technology. BillEase also lifts conversion rates in the online space to accommodate payment with less friction and faster approval time.

“With this integration, we’re bringing our financial product closer to consumers by making it easier for merchants to add our point-of-sale financing option. Installment purchase is already a very popular option for most Filipinos when they shop in malls. But these offline offerings often don’t translate well to the online world and the payment experience is not seamless,” said Georg Steiger, CEO and co-founder of FDFC

He added, “Our goal is to help merchants improve their conversion rate by making the online buying experience a pleasure for customers. Spreading payment over monthly installment with extremely affordable rates makes their shopping experience lighter. For merchants, they can enjoy an increase in basket sizes and more conversion as we also support 0%-APR plans with no cost to customers. Over 90 percent of Filipino consumers are disenfranchised when it comes to credit cards. In contrast, BillEase is a simple, safe and transparent cardless alternative to revolving credit lines for online shoppers who primarily use debit cards and are usually underserved.”