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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

BNPL Atome launches ‘online travel fair’ to offer travel deals to consumers in Asia

Singapore – Buy Now Pay Later platform in Asia, Atome, has launched an online travel fair, ‘Own Your Adventure’, that offers users travel deals from its travel and hospitality merchants. The travel fair is a regional campaign that will roll out across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

The platform said the campaign launch is in anticipation of the spike in travel demand. Running from 4 to 16 November, Atome will be offering attractive vouchers and travel deals of up to 15% from merchants Agoda, Cathay Pacific, Kkday, Luxury Escapes, and Trip.com.

Rainal Lu, head of growth at Atome, said, “With so many borders opening up again, there is a huge latent demand across the region to travel and experience new and old holiday destinations. With the support of so many of our regional travel partners, we’re excited to launch our year-end travel fair and support the [post-Covid-19] travel recovery boom by giving travellers choice, convenience and accessibility in how they want to pay and book their much-awaited holidays.”

As part of the campaign, Atome is also running a photo contest, encouraging consumers to share their best travel moments captured during their past travel adventures. The aim of the contest is to curate a ‘diverse lens’ of travel experiences through the perspective of different travellers in Asia, and in turn, inspire others on how they want to plan their next travels. 

The top prize is a S$14,000 travel package, and the first and second runner-ups will each win a round-trip to Japan for two. An additional 20 consumers will also be selected to win a S$35 travel voucher from Atome. 

The contest is open to residents based in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. To participate in the contest, consumers must download the Atome app, follow its Instagram account, and post their best travel photo on Instagram with the hashtag, #OwnYourAdventure, in the caption. Users must also tag a friend on the post. 

Judging the photo submissions will be Atome and travel photographer, Yik Keat. Tripadvisor, global travel guidance platform, joins the campaign as a content partner, providing guidance and inspiration to travellers as they plan their next adventure.

Sarah Mathews, group head of media partnerships for APAC at Tripadvisor, said, “We are so excited to be working with Atome, encouraging travellers to join such a fun travel campaign. As the world’s largest travel guidance platform, we love campaigns that inspire travellers to get to travel, [explore] the world again, [and] [discover] the good out there.” 

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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.

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Platforms Featured APAC

How BNPL providers and partner marketers can seize their growing collective opportunity

Over the past five years, the number of buy now, pay later (BNPL) businesses and options has skyrocketed. The boom began when the world’s largest online retailers integrated these options into their e-commerce experiences, and the concept quickly went mainstream across the retail landscape. More recently, amidst the pandemic and rapid shift to online spending, we saw the first BNPL players turn to the BNPL and partner marketing channel as a new revenue stream. Since then, the channel has become an exceptionally important part of the BNPL industry’s growth strategy. 

That said, the e-commerce and fintech landscape are both undergoing rapid transformations, making this a particularly crucial time for partner marketers and BNPL players in terms of laying the groundwork for a sustainable future together. Let’s take a closer look at this growing opportunity, as well as the areas where both sides need to focus their efforts to ensure responsible growth. 

Why All Eyes Are on BNPL 

The BNPL opportunity, while not a new concept, has been redefined for a digital world and has taken on significant weight in recent years. Retailers have flocked to these providers, with major players like Klarna now serving hundreds of thousands of global retailers, including names like Amazon and Macy’s. 

In terms of the money that flows through these systems, Juniper Research predicts that money spent through the BNPL market will nearly quadruple between 2021 and 2026, to eventually account for more than 24 per cent of global e-commerce transactions (compared to 9 per cent in 2021). At the same time, these services will widen their generational appeal. According to eMarketer, 80 per cent of BNPL customers in 2018 were millennials or Gen Zers 14 and over. That figure dropped to 73 per cent last year, as older generations began to embrace these newer payment options. However, millennials and Gen Z are expected to remain the predominant BNPL customers in the near future. 

While BNPL is seeing global growth, Australia has become the world’s hotbed of BNPL activity. The BNPL boom in Australia has attracted more than 30 players in recent years, the largest being names like Afterpay, Zip and Humm Group. Zip in particular has more than 2 million customers across Australia and New Zealand, and the company credits the BNPL trend as being a major contributor to the wave of Australians who have ditched their credit cards in recent years. The rise of Apple Pay is a consumer trend worth monitoring, as well.

How the BNPL-Affiliate Relationship Can Thrive

To thrive, BNPL and affiliate relationships need to acknowledge the unique challenges and opportunities of each other’s respective businesses and ensure their contributions to the relationships are mutually beneficial. Particularly as consumer watchdog groups increase their scrutiny of BNPL programs and their lending practices, it will behoove both sides to demonstrate responsible practices by structuring these programs for success upfront. 

From the BNPL provider’s perspective, there are three elements to consider when it comes to being successful in the partner and affiliate space: 

  • Audience size and scale
  • Marketing themselves as a media business 
  • Optimising their customer platform with the right advertising opportunities

Afterpay has the biggest audience in the Australian BNPL market. Other BNPL competitors, who may not have the same audience size, were quicker to invest in optimising their customer platform to drive more customers through their shopping and rewards platform. However, Afterpay is further investing and launching an enhanced shopping portal which they are now monetising for their merchants.

Different BNPL providers are targeting different demographics as they are seeing certain shifts ultimately leading to increased audience size, unlocking broader reach across the population that has higher spending power.

No doubt, the BNPL opportunity is big—and getting bigger every day. From the merchant standpoint, capitalising on this shift and giving customers more flexibility in payment options just makes sense. From an affiliate marketing perspective, we can leverage this shift to help drive the right advertising to the right audience using the data produced through buyer spending behaviour.

To continue to leverage the growth in the market the industry needs to continue to monitor the consumer buyer patterns for sustainable growth.

This article is written by Kelly Guerin, APAC director of partnerships at Partnerize.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesia-based Akulaku’s BNPL solution now supported by Alipay+

Indonesia – Akulaku, a digital banking and finance platform in Southeast Asia, has partnered with Alipay+, a suite of global cross-border mobile payments and marketing solutions operated by Ant Group, to launch ‘Akulaku PayLater’, a BNPL solution that will allow Indonesian consumers to use at Alipay+’s global merchants.

Through the partnership, Alipay+ will now include Akulaku PayLater amongst its supported digital payment methods, and merchants will be able to access the BNPL solution as a payment method. 

Akulaku’s BNPL functionality provides individuals who have a limited credit history with access to a convenient line of credit as well as manageable instalment plans. By meeting the increased demand for flexible payment plans and instalment purchasing, Akulaku PayLater promotes consumer purchasing power and ensures previously underserved markets can participate in a convenient digital financial service.

According to market research firm eCommerceDB, the Indonesian online commerce market grew 32% in 2021 and is currently the ninth largest in the world. Over the next five years, the Indonesian e-commerce market is projected to grow at a yearly rate of 10%, making this partnership a timely solution to meet the increased demand from Indonesian consumers for online shopping.

Fan Zhang, CFO of Akulaku, believes that this partnership will lead to a more advanced and convenient financial landscape for customers in Indonesia and throughout Southeast Asia.

“Through Alipay+, we will quickly scale the pool of merchants accepting Akulaku PayLater, giving our consumers an enhanced user experience and improving the market competitiveness of BNPL products. The combined resources will reach underserved markets with immediate financial services, fostering growth within these regions across industries,” said Zhang.

Meanwhile, Cheng Guoming, general manager of global partnerships at Alipay+, noted, “We see BNPL as an important part of the digital payment ecosystem and are excited to reach this partnership with Akulaku PayLater to enable the communities in Indonesia and other potential markets to enjoy seamless and convenient cross-border payment services and enrich their daily lives through the global shopping experience.”

Both companies are also exploring opportunities to further extend their partnership to other markets in Southeast Asia.

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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.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

PayMongo, Atome team up to expand BNPL access in PH

Manila, Philippines – Local-based online payment processing platform PayMongo and buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform Atome have teamed up to expand BNPL acceptance among merchants in the country.

Through the partnership, it will enable PayMongo’s over 10,000 merchant network in the Philippines to offer their customers flexible deferred payment options, with no additional annual or service fees as an alternative checkout payment option.

Miel Pahati, head of partnerships at PayMongo, said, “Our partnership with Atome enables our merchants to offer a seamless and flexible payment checkout experience. With the growing trend towards digital payments and the appeal of zero-interest payment options, especially among digital-native customers, we’re confident this partnership will help our merchants grow sales and delight both new and returning customers.”

Meanwhile, Jeremy Wong, head of strategic partnerships at Atome, commented, “More than ever, consumers want choice, flexibility and a more personalised shopping and payment experience. Our partnership with PayMongo in the Philippines will accelerate the acceptance of flexible deferred payment options, and will support thousands of merchants in enabling a superior, secure checkout experience for consumers, in-store and online. This, in turn, will optimise customer conversion, increase average orders and repeat sales.”

As part of the partnership, local home appliance store Anson’s will be one of the first to adopt Atome payments via PayMongo.

Kristoffer Cheng, e-commerce and digital marketing manager at Anson’s, said, “Setting up Atome as a buy now, pay later option in our website was a quick and easy experience because PayMongo makes integration seamless.” 

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Dorsett Hospitality International unveils tie-up with BNPL Atome

Singapore – Dorsett Hospitality International, the hotel group in Asia, has announced its partnership with Atome, the fast-leading ‘buy now pay later’ platform in the region, to offer installation payment options to its guests. The option will be available to guests prior to arrival and upon checkout across its hotels in three markets; Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Under the partnership, guests can pay for their accommodations in three zero interest payments with no additional charges or service fees by selecting Atome as a payment option at the hotel front office or upon receiving Dorsett Hotels’ confirmation email for reservations prior to arrival. To pay, users first have to download Atome’s app and register an account, select Atome as the checkout payment option either three days before arrival or upon checking out at the front desk.

Anita Chan, senior vice president of global brand marketing at Dorsett Hospitality International, said, “At Dorsett Hospitality International it has always been important to us to make travel as easy and accessible as possible. As the first hotel group to partner with Atome regionally in Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong, we hope the flexibility of a ‘buy now pay later’ solution will encourage and allow more of our guests to travel, enjoy staycations and, for our guests in Hong Kong, make quarantine more affordable.”

Meanwhile, William Yang, head of regional partnerships for APAC at Atome, said, “Outbound travel across the region, especially in Singapore and Malaysia, is rebounding rapidly. We are excited we can play our part in supporting this post-Covid-19 recovery and provide a much-needed boost to the recovery of the tourism and hospitality industry. In addition, guests can now use Atome upon checkout for longer, better stays in Dorsett Hospitality International’s hotels.”

Atome has also recently forayed its services for NFTs. Social fitness platform LIV3LY has recently partnered with the BNPL to introduce flexible instalment payment options for LIV3LY’s 1000 NFTs. 

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Telkomsel, Kredivo partner to launch BNPL telco service ‘Telkomsel PayLater’

Jakarta, Indonesia — PT Telekomunikasi Selul ar (Telkomsel) collaborated with PT FinAccel Finance Indonesia (Kredivo) in order to develop a BNPL digital financial service solution specifically for telcos for all Telkomsel customers, namely Telkomsel PayLater. The collaboration agreement was marked by the signing of a Cooperation Agreement between the two parties in Jakarta.

In this collaboration, Telkomsel and Kredivo will optimize their digital ecosystem assets to open more opportunities by providing easy financing for integrated digital products, which can be accessed anytime and anywhere by customers through the MyTelkomsel application.

Wong Soon Nam, director of planning and transformation for Telkomsel, said, “BNPL’s digital financial services are currently growing in line with the increasing adoption of people’s digital lifestyles in the midst of a pandemic.”

Nam added, “This collaboration is a tangible manifestation of Telkomsel’s commitment as an enabler to open more advancement opportunities for all levels of society in obtaining innovative digital-based solutions that touch all sectors of life, which this time we implemented through the BNPL digital financial product specifically for telcos, under the name Telkomsel PayLater.”

This collaboration is also part of Telkomsel’s efforts to always make it easier for customers to always be connected and enjoy a variety of Telkomsel’s leading digital products and services for various needs. In order to open up all opportunities and provide digital financial services that exceed customer expectations, Telkomsel chose Kredivo as a strategic partner who has various experiences and ecosystem advantages for BNPL services.

Umang Rustagi, CEO of Kredivo Indonesia, said, “We are very excited to work with Telkomsel, one of the largest cellular telecommunications operators in Indonesia. This partnership brings us one step closer to realizing our vision of serving 10 million users in the next few years and is an acknowledgement of Kredivo’s leadership in Indonesia’s PayLater industry.”

“In addition, this is one of our latest achievements in providing white-label PayLater services to partners who are focused on the telecommunications sector,” Rustagi said.

As an initial stage, Telkomsel and Kredivo presented the Telkomsel PayLater service through the MyTelkomsel super apps in April 2022. The presence of Telkomsel PayLater opens a new digital experience for all Telkomsel customers in utilizing digital financial solutions more easily, comfortably, and safely.

To encourage the use of the newly presented digital solution, at this early stage Telkomsel PayLater through Kredivo will provide a PayLater limit of up to Rp. 30,000,000 which can be submitted and obtained by selected customers. This limit can be used by customers to finance various Telkomsel products, ranging from credit, data packages, digital products, and other leading Telkomsel services.

In order to open up more opportunities, Telkomsel PayLater will also be developed gradually outside the MyTelkomsel platform. This development will continue by Telkomsel. Telkomsel PayLater can also be a digital financial service solution for other Telkomsel digital ecosystems.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

SHOPLINE unveils regional partnership with BNPL Atome

Singapore – SHOPLINE, the global smart commerce platform, has announced a regional partnership with buy now pay later platform Atome, allowing online businesses to accept Atome’s buy-now-pay-later function as a payment option.

With the new service, merchants in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and Taiwan will be able to better cater their younger customers. The payment solution consists of three zero-interest instalments, including the first one at the point of purchase and two over time with no annual fees or service fees. It also translates to a higher conversion rate, order value and customer retention, especially for higher-priced products.

Joshua Qiao, General Manager, SHOPLINE Cross Border, said BNPL has taken off for a new generation of consumers and is expected to grow to US$1.2 Trillion in 2024. In the bid to optimise customer experiences, the partnership with Atome seeks to provide an effective digital experience that revolutionises the way their merchants serve their customers. Connecting payments to specific purchases over a period of time gives the power back to consumers as it changes the perception of debt and enables them to purchase big ticket items without the interest fees.

“The partnership with Atome offers the flexibility, transparency and seamless customer experience that resonates with younger consumers who are increasingly judicious with the debts that they take on, favouring BNPL options over credit card and other forms of payments. This is synonymous with SHOPLINE’s mission to continually offer best in class solutions for our merchants to build autonomous, powerful and thriving omnichannel brands,” Qiao said.

While BNPL is becoming more popular among all age groups, millennials and Gen Z consumers who appreciate the convenience of instalment payment option over traditional bank or credit card options have shown the highest growth in adoption. 

Meanwhile, Atome’s Regional Head of Strategic Partnership Jeremy Wong, commented, “More than ever, young consumers today want flexibility, transparency and a better, more personalised shopping and payment experience.”

Wong added, “Our regional partnership with SHOPLINE will support thousands of merchants across Greater China and Southeast Asia in enabling a superior, secure Buy Now, Pay Later checkout experience for consumers, both in-store and online. This in turn will improve customer conversion, increase average orders and repeat sales.” 

After launching in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan, SHOPLINE plans to expand the strategic partnership with Atome later this year to include other Asian markets such as Indonesia. 

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Platforms Featured ANZ

ANZ shoppers to spend less, more selective in online purchases this year

Sydney, Australia – Shoppers in Australia and New Zealand are reported to spend less and be more selective in prioritising essentials during their online purchases, a report by BigCommerce, an open SaaS e-commerce platform.

According to the report, 30% of respondents also indicate they plan to decrease their BNPL spend, with 68% doing so to save money for essentials. Furthermore, 79% of shoppers would be likely or very likely to leave a website and purchase elsewhere if a website is too slow.

In addition, credit card as a proportion of last payments made has risen to 39% in 2022, up from 26% in 2020 and 2021. Debit cards have also become more popular as a payment method, increasing from 17% in 2020, to 21% in 2021 and now at 23% in 2022. The majority of purchases made after receiving a marketing prompt came from email (42.1% of respondents), while respondents who made a purchase after receiving an abandoned cart email have also doubled to 32% in 2022.

Shannon Ingrey, vice president and general manager, APAC at BigCommerce, said, “The beginning of the pandemic pushed shoppers online, and now they’re getting more selective with their spending to prioritise saving more. We’re at a point where retailers and merchants need to take an introspective look at their key services to address shopper pain points like website speed and fast delivery time.”

Meanwhile, 40% of respondents indicated they have chosen one retailer over another because of a loyalty program offering, with 69% saying they have used a loyalty program to claim a reward in the last three months. For 77% of respondents, free shipping is the number one preferred perk when it comes to these loyalty programs.

“It’s critical for retailers to ensure they have the right technology and infrastructure in place to prioritise fast, seamless experiences for shoppers. Understanding what consumers think and how they behave on a day-to-day basis will be key to the strategic decision-making of every merchant in 2022,” Ingrey concluded.