Openpay launches BNPL service in US
Australian buy now pay later (BNPL) fintech Openpay has launched into the US market a year to the day since listing on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Openpay, which operates in Austrlia, New Zealand and the UK, offers two core products: a consumer-focused BNPL service for retailers, and a B2B Saas platform for managing trade accounts called Openpay for Business, both of which will launch stateside. Distinct from other BNPL firms such as Klarna, Openpay markets itself as a cashflow tool, allowing consumers to spread payments of upto $20,000 between two and 24 months, depending on the purchase.
"This is possibly the most significant announcement for Openpay since we listed on the ASX on this day, last year,” says Michael Eidel, Openpay’s CEO and Managing Director. “We're entering the market with a team of highly respected US industry leaders who see great potential to bring our unique approach in BNPL and B2B to the US market.”
Openpay’s new US division is helmed by former Deloitte executive Brian Shniderman, who will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the US operation and as Global Chief Strategy Officer. Shniderman was attracted to the role “because this is an amazing company leading the shift towards a much more consumer friendly and merchant-centric payments future,” he said.
Also joining the US executive team are Gary Stein and Troy Carrothers in the respective roles of Chief Product and Compliance Officer, and Corporate Advisor.
The fintech posted a record month in November, with a total transaction value (TTV) of $35.7m, up from the previous monthly record of $25.8m. Openpay also enjoyed a record week for TTV during Black Friday and significantly swelled the number of customers and merchants using the platform.
BNPL draws regulators’ gaze
Openpay’s US launch comes amid calls for greater scrutiny and regulation of delayed payment providers, with campaigners in the UK warning consumers are unwittingly racking up mountains of debt.
UK personal wealth commentator Martin Lewis said “[BNPL] is absolutely the fastest-growing form of credit” and aired concerns about the sector targeting young people, a claim disputed by Klarna’s UK head Alex Marsh, who pointed out the average age of its customers is 33 and its fastest growing demographic are those aged 40-55.
In November, New Zealand-based BNPL challenger Laybuy drafted a first-of-its-kind code of conduct for the UK’s BNPL sector, where the fintech also operates. MD Gary Rohloff said while Laybuy strives to operate with “the highest standards” with no formal regulation of the sector yet in place “we have an obligation to help ensure the sector is acting fairly, openly and responsibly”. It launched a similar campaign in New Zealand earlier this year.
Tink partners with Novalnet AG for open banking payments
The Munich-based fintech Novalnet AG, which was founded in 2007 and is one of Europe’s leadingfintech companies, has announced a new partnership with Tink, the Swedish open banking platform currently connected to more than 3,400 European banks.
Novalnet AG delivers payment solutions and fully automated services, from checkout to debt collection. Its solutions are also available worldwide.
According to reports, the fintech company plans to launch a real-time payments feature for merchants across Europe, to expand its current services and enhance the transaction experience it operates through its platform.
The new feature, says Novalnet, will revolutionise payments for ecommerce with transactions being credited to merchant’s accounts almost instantly.
Novalnet partnership with Tink
By partnering with Tink for payment initiation services (PIS) technology, Novalnet will take previous region-specific payment methods and offer a new unified digital payments service to its merchants across Europe.
The fintech’s real-time merchant payments feature, which will be launched initially in Germany and the United Kingdom, will then be integrated across other European markets during 2021.
Speaking about the new collaboration, Emmanuel Kirse, COO of Novalnet, explained, "We expect great things from our strategic partnership with Tink, which is a significant development for both parties.
“With Tink, Novalnet can offer a new set of open banking-related solutions in Europe. The new opportunities offered by this partnership will help both Tink and Novalnet grow together, along with our merchants."
Cyrosch Kalateh, Regional Director for the DACH region at Tink said, “Our partnership with Novalnet is a big step for Tink in the German market, and we are excited to work together to bring new, innovative payments services to merchants across Europe.”
He added, “At the end of 2020 Tink committed to expanding its payment initiation services from five to 10 markets, fuelled by an €85mn investment round. We are proud to add Germany to this list by announcing we have now fully launched Tink’s PIS services in this market.”
Image credit: Novalnet AG