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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

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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Platforms Featured East Asia

foodpanda HK unveils tie-up with Atome

Hong Kong – Q-commerce platform foodpanda in Hong Kong has announced a partnership with buy now pay later platform Atome, to introduce Atome’s buy now pay later acceptance and payment flexibility to the Hong Kong market. 

Starting 14 March, foodpanda customers in Hong Kong can split purchases into three zero-interest deferred payments upon checkout. To pay, users must first download the Atome app and register before selecting Atome as a payment option at the checkout.

Ryan Lai, managing director at foodpanda Hong Kong, shared,  that both oth foodpanda and Atome are aligned in our mission of better serving the people of Hong Kong. 

“By adding the buy now pay later payment flexibility on our all-in-one quick commerce platform, it makes food and grocery shopping even more instant, affordable and convenient for foodpanda customers. The launch of this partnership is very timely, given COVID-19 restrictions and the economic impacts it brings, allowing Hong Kong residents to enjoy better financial flexibility while making food or grocery purchases safely from home.” 

Eric Yu, general manager at Atome Hong Kong, commented, “We are pleased to partner with foodpanda, Hong Kong’s leading on-demand delivery platform. foodpanda customers can now enjoy a flexible, transparent and seamless shopping and payment experience by checking out with Atome. This will make it even more convenient and affordable to Hong Kong residents to eat and shop for food and groceries safely, and from the comfort of their own home.”

To commemorate the launch of the partnership and to encourage Hong Kong residents to eat and shop safely from home during the COVID-19 crisis, all foodpanda customers can redeem a one-time HK$50 foodpanda voucher when they check out with Atome’s minimum spend of HK$350 for existing customers and HK$250 for new customers.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Atome appoints Daphne Lourdes as head of marketing in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Buy now pay later (BNPL) platform Atome has appointed Daphne Lourdes, former country marketing manager at Meta, to be its newest head of marketing in Malaysia. In an exclusive interview with MARKETECH APAC, Lourdes noted that through her new role, she will be focused on developing a comprehensive 360° brand and marketing plan to drive brand awareness and advocacy, as well as support merchant and user acquisition for Atome in Malaysia.

In addition, she will be leading a team covering partnerships, campaigns and social media marketers to implement the brand and marketing plans and ultimately support merchants to grow their business.

“At the same time, as a consumer brand, we also want to support tech savvy Malaysian shoppers with access and affordability to quality products and services and help them achieve their aspirational life goals, while promoting responsible shopping,” Lourdes told MARKETECH APAC.

During her previous stint at Meta, she was focused on building the company’s B2B marketing in Malaysia, as well as developing and executing digital marketing campaigns for the brand. Prior to joining Meta, she also had worked with consumer TV company Astro for three years, where she served several positions, including general manager for digital and marketing.

“I’ve learnt that Malaysia is not a homogenous society but a melting pot of diverse peoples and cultures, which means they come with different shopping and retail needs and wants. Therefore our approach with merchants as well as consumers, should be marketed as such. This is an important fact to recognise and any branding or consumer outreach campaigns should take this into consideration,” she noted when asked about what she has learned throughout these previous stints.

Speaking about her appointment, Lourdes told MARKETECH APAC, “I am thrilled to join the team and grow the Atome brand in Malaysia by building on the incredible momentum of Atome’s first year of operations in Malaysia.A lot more merchants now understand the value we bring to their businesses. We are keen to develop those relationships, broaden the coverage of industry verticals and support their retail growth across channels.”

She also added, “As people adjust to the new normal post COVID-19, I am also incredibly excited to drive greater consumer adoption of Atome across Malaysia. At the same time, I will continue to focus on growing awareness and education of Atome’s core values of ‘Access, Aspiration and Advice’.”

In her new role, she will be reporting to Trasy Lou, regional general manager at Atome.

“We warmly welcome Daphne to the Atome Malaysia family as we expand and grow the Atome brand across Malaysia. We continue to see strong demand from our retail and merchant partners as well as users, as well as the unique opportunity for BNPL to drive post COVID-19 retail recovery. Daphne’s deep background in tech, marketing and her knowledge of industry networks will allow us to further build and accelerate the growth of the Atome brand in Malaysia,” Lou said.

When asked about her thought leadership on the opportunities in BNPL, she noted two groups of people that will have greater opportunities in the continuing rise of BNPL use in the market.

According to Lourdes, they need to demonstrate the value of BNPL platforms such as Atome to merchants, as well as growing their retail network and partnerships.

“We will also need to continuously upgrade and improve retail and merchant support. We also want to be able to work with merchants to support the recovery of retail post-pandemic, and to also work with our merchant partners to prepare for the day when COVID restrictions are lifted and shoppers can freely and safely return to shops and malls,” she said.

Meanwhile, she noted that on the consumer’s front, they need to continue improving the shopping and payment experience by adding new features and services such as early repayment, capping admin fees in half, and Atome+ rewards.

“We will also partner more merchants to offer a greater range of products and services. Lastly, we will focus on consumer education and features to promote healthy and sustainable shopping,” Lourdes concluded.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Kredivo ties with lifestyle retailer MAP to make global brands more affordable

Indonesia – Indonesia’s Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) platform Kredivo has partnered with lifestyle retailer Mitra Adiperkasa (MAP) to enable customers to shop for high-quality products from global brands, while maintaining healthy cash flow by paying them over time with low-interest rates.

MAP, which has been operating in Indonesia for more than 27 years, fulfils customers’ demand in lifestyle and food and beverages through its omnichannel chains across the country. 

Through the new partnership, Kredivo can now be used as a payment method at MAP retailers, including Zara, Pandora, Bershka, Mango, and Calvin Klein, as well as Lacoste, and Marks & Spencer, amongst many others. 

Lily Suriani, Kredivo’s general manager, shared that the partnership with MAP is an important step for them to accommodate users’ needs and to realize their commitment to making it easier for them to shop at the best retailers with a fast, convenient, and affordable payment option.

“We are very pleased to offer this new access point to our customers and we are excited to partner with MAP, Indonesia’s number one and largest lifestyle company that has 2,600 outlets in 81 cities across Indonesia,” said Suriani.

The integration between Kredivo and MAP is now live as of 25 January 2022. Kredivo said that it is set to expand its services and collaborate with other MAP brands in the future.

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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.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

SEA e-commerce spending forecasted to reach US$179.8b by 2025

Singapore – With changing consumer and retail trends as well as more inclusive payment options, e-commerce spending is estimated to rise by 162% to reach US$179.8b by 2025, according to data from a joint study by market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) and global payments platform 2C2P.

The largest markets for e-commerce payments are forecast to be Indonesia (US$83b), Vietnam (US$29b), and Thailand (US$24b).

The report also noted that digital payments are expected to account for 91% of total e-commerce spending by 2025, up from 80% in 2020. The Philippines,Vietnam and Thailand markets are projected to have noteworthy shifts with declining cash usage and increasing digital payments usage by 2025.

For Aung Kyaw Moe, founder and CEO of 2C2P, there is an opportunity to ride on the growth of digital payments and provide secure and reliable financial services to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers in the region. 

“Digital payments are no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have, and a key part of every company’s business strategy. The ability of businesses to optimize their payment capabilities and operations according to geographical reach will also determine how they stay competitive, agile, and successful across the region,” Moe stated.

In terms of digital payment preference, local payment options like mobile wallets are preferred for ease and convenience across Southeast Asia. From 2020 to 2025, mobile wallets and BNPL in the region are expected to grow 30% and 58%, respectively. Indonesia alone is predicted to welcome over 100 million new mobile wallet users by 2025.

“Southeast Asia’s payment landscape is incredibly fragmented, and payment systems and their adoption, as well as regulations, can vary from market to market. To help businesses understand and navigate the region’s complexities, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to the region’s payments landscape featuring regional and local payment insights,” said Michael Araneta, associate vice president and head of research and consulting at IDC Financial Insights Asia-Pacific.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s Top 5 Stories for September: BNPL in Thailand clinches top spot

What a great way to start the ‘Ber’ months this year with a list of high-flying stories which gave the industry a peek of the latest developments in the startup, e-commerce, and digital payments scene. 

This September, an Indian-born PR agency leading the way for communications in the startup sector has expanded its presence to Singapore. A Buy Now Pay Later platform is also ramping up its market in Southeast Asia with the announcement of its country manager for Thailand. 

Meanwhile, e-commerce makes another round getting into readers’ radar with a data-driven marketing firm in Asia unveiling its new leader for its e-commerce offering.

Stories from the Philippines are also in this month’s top spots with one career coaching firm in the country sharing its business story, and also, a report that saw the convergence of consumer products and social media snared readership for the period.

Take a look.

Top 5: PR agency Value 360 Communications expands presence with new Singapore office

Value 360 Communications Singapore

Value 360 Communications, the startup-focused PR agency in India, has announced that it will be expanding its market to Singapore to unlock growth opportunities in the country’s burgeoning start-up space.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Kunal Sinha, the founder and director of Value 360 Communications, shared that the company has been part of the journey of 15 unicorns in the market of India, where they have built communications from the ground up. Learning from the process, the agency eventually grounded its name and reputation in the sector. 

Working with a complex market such as India, Sinha believes, gives the agency a strong value proposition to bring to the start-up space.

“We are going to focus on providing start-up PR in the SEA region, and Singapore will be the core for us in extending our services to start-ups. We are also in a discussion with other global brands who have both India and Singapore presence, and we are looking to hire talents with specific experiences in start-ups,” said Sinha.

We have an internal training module where we will be able to help them learn and understand about the start-up space.

Sinha on hiring new talents

Top 4: MARKETECH Spotlight: PH’s Metamorphosis Group on disrupting career coaching in the country

Metamorphosis Group_Danica Octa

Entering this month’s top stories is one of the latest episodes of MARKETECH Spotlight featuring career coaching firm in the Philippines, Metamorphosis Group (MG). 

In an exclusive conversation with the firm’s Founder, President, and CEO, Danica Octa, she shared MG’s start-up journey which began in the pandemic year in 2020. Gaining more expertise and leadership into the current job and recruitment industry in the country, the coaching firm has now firmed up its mission of becoming an end-to-end employability solution for those seeking guidance on their career development. 

Speaking MARKETECH APAC, Octa shared how the firm sees its role in the Filipino workforce. 

Our role [in the workforce] is to be some kind of a learning partner [and] an accountability buddy.

Octa believes that above all, it’s able to help shape people’s career journey through its future-oriented thinking. 

“We are very forward-thinking, we understand the future of work, we as a company is very, very in touch with what’s going to happen 10 years later,” she said. 

Octa adds, “We have the intuition, we can give our market the information they need to succeed moving forward, of course, so that they can upskill and reskill to the appropriate job that they need to have, moving forward. So I think that’s the role that we take here.”

Top 3: Filipinos take to Twitter conversations around favorite consumer products

Twitter-Philippines

Twitter Philippines has recently released a report on the products Filipinos love to talk about on the platform. The data shows that there are five key trends in how Filipinos converse around food, beverages, and personal, as well as home care.

Chandan Deep, Twitter’s head of emerging business for SEA, shared that people on the app and the conversations that they create are what makes Twitter unique, and that 71% have rated it as a great platform for brand interaction, making it the number one among its peers.

MARKETECH APAC conversed with Deep, and she noted that when you looked at the top mentioned brands, which were listed on their CPG dispatch, you will see some good samples on how brands can engage with their customers on Twitter, to be able to drive more meaningful conversations.

Twitter has a diverse community so they can connect with people who like entertainment, gaming, or health, making the first move as a brand by initiating conversation and making your audience enjoy it.

Top 2: ADA names former Lazada CBO Sherry Tan as regional head of e-commerce

ADA ropes in Lazada MY’s Sherry Tan to become its regional head of e-commerce

ADA, the data- and AI-driven marketing firm in Asia, has appointed former Chief Business Officer of Lazada Malaysia, Sherry Tan to be its regional head of e-commerce. 

ADA has just unveiled its end-to-end e-commerce solution for brands in APAC, and for the new role, Tan will be leading a team of leaders who will support the growing demand for e-commerce in the region. 

In the interview with MARKETECH APAC, Tan shared the challenges that brands in e-commerce are faced with in this pandemic.,

“In the last 18 months right, the pandemic catapulted e-commerce retail significantly, and there are more users in the digital space whether it is the buyers or the sellers. Now, it has become harder for brands to attract customers because there are wider options available,” said Tan. 

According to Tan, besides having more choices, customers are gaining smarter as well and therefore, have higher expectations toward their shopper journey. 

Brands need to stay on top of their game to predict industry trends…and then they need to enhance engagement and attraction to their brand to build loyalty and retention.

On ADA’s e-commerce solution, Tan said, “Leveraging on our data and digital shelf, we are able to craft [an] e-commerce and digital strategy based on sentiment analysis, customer insights as well as [competitive] landscape. This data allows us to understand what consumers are interested in, where they have visited over a period of time, and ADA is able to target these audiences for the brand.”

Top 1: BNPL platform for Asia, Atome, names country manager for Thailand

Atome Poompong Tancharoenphol

For our top story for the month, we have Buy Now Pay later platform in Asia Atome’s appointment of its country manager for Thailand, Poompong Tancharoenphol Tancharoenphol was formerly Zilingo’s country head for the country. 

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Tancharoenphol said, “I think I have been fortunate to look at e-commerce both from AddVentures and Zilingo before. There [are] a few key factors in making an e-commerce company successful, namely the business model itself, whether it is B2C e-commerce, B2B e-commerce, and marketplaces, and there is [a] supply chain, marketing, and payment.”

He adds that with BNPL being quite new to the Thai market, it could mean either two things: it may be potentially good or something which the market may not adapt to. 

I think the direct value we offer to the retailers and e-commerce players is the increase in the market size. We were able to increase the market size to 30% more than any other payment method, and this comes along with increasing sales and conversion [afterward]

Rankings‌ ‌are‌ ‌based‌ ‌on‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Analytics‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌period‌ ‌of‌ ‌16th‌ ‌August‌ ‌to 15th‌ ‌September.‌

Watch our exclusive interviews with the brands themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, now live on our YouTube channel.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Atome launches loyalty rewards program Atome+ in Singapore

Singapore – Buy now pay later (BNPL) platform in Asia, Atome, has launched Atome+, its in-app loyalty rewards program, in Singapore.

Atome allows shoppers to split their purchases into three interest-free installments at different stores. Through Atome+, shoppers will be earning points for purchases made using Atome across online and offline retailers in Singapore. These points can be redeemed against further purchases at selected merchants, including LEGO, Kinohimitsu, PEDRO, and Melissa, or to offset future transactions. 

Within the program, Atome shoppers are able to earn 1 Atome+ point for every S$1 spent. To celebrate the launch of Atome+ in Singapore, shoppers will receive up to 3 times more Atome+ points from 9 to 12 September. Existing Atome users can also earn additional 1,000 points for every successful referral from now until 30 September.

According to Atome, since the program’s soft launch in June, over 11,000 users have already redeemed 3 million worth of points to offset bills and transactions. The Atome+ loyalty program will be progressively rolled out to Malaysia and Hong Kong in the coming months.

Trasy Lou Walsh, general manager of Atome Singapore and Malaysia, shared that the program has been very well-received by Atome users since its soft launch. She further shared that within the program in the future, shoppers can be further rewarded with Atome+ points for actions like making on-time payments. 

Atome has been ramping up its presence within Asia, recently announcing its newly appointed country manager for Thailand, Poompong Tancharoenphol. 

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Platforms Featured ANZ

Afterpay launches new analytics platform catered to merchants

Sydney, Australia – Australia-based buy now pay later (BNPL) global fintech platform Afterpay has announced the launch of Afterpay iQ, its new dedicated analytics platform catered to merchants using their services.

With this powerful new tool, brands can gain access to valuable customer-centric analytics to help optimize investment and drive growth.

Entailed within the new analytics platform are AI-powered insights, visualizations, and real-time data are delivered in one, highly accessible self-service user interface. Furthermore, brands can evaluate marketing performance, omnichannel shopping volumes, and demographic summaries down to the store level.

Lastly, there is an embedded recommendation engine in the platform that offers insightful actions to optimize business performance based on analytics.

The launch of the platform coincides with Afterpay’s launch of their quarterly report on millennial and Gen Z spending, where they found that millennial and Gen Z share of spending will increase to 48% by 2030, demonstrating their continued strong influence on the economy as these cohorts reach peak earning years. The report also showed that this generation has an increasing preference for BNPL.

“Gen Z and Millennials are driving change at the intersection of culture and commerce – so it’s no surprise they have been key adopters of Afterpay and BNPL more generally,” said Mark Teperson, chief strategy officer at Afterpay.

Furthermore, they also noted that spending by Gen Z and millennials has recovered faster than older generations, up an average of 13% from pre-pandemic levels. Small-business spending is also increasing among this generation – up an average of 220% since early 2020.

“Having built our business by connecting this next generation of shoppers to the best brands in the world, Afterpay is in a strong position to help its retailers navigate this demographic by providing unparalleled insights into the world’s hardest to reach customer cohorts,” Teperson concluded.