BNPL services take root in PH | Inquirer Business
SB Finance enters field

BNPL services take root in PH

/ 02:22 AM October 21, 2022

“Buy now, pay later” (BNPL) services are taking deeper roots in the Philippines as the currently trendy business model is expected to grow globally by 14 percent yearly to $44 billion in 2027 from $18 billion in 2020.

BNPL services allow consumers to make monthly payment installments within three to six months with no interest charge, and is increasingly available as a payment option online and in physical stores.

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According to Research and Markets, the payments industry is now lucrative for startups to tap into new niche market segments and promote financial inclusion in groups with limited access to credit services from banks.

BNPL services, in particular, have emerged as an alternative credit payment for consumers, enabling them to make purchases without paying the total amount upfront.

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In Southeast Asia including the Philippines, consumers are taking to BNPL through established e-commerce platforms such as Shopee, Lazada and Traveloka as well as ride-hailing companies like Grab and Gojek.

“BNPL startups with promising advanced technology strategies and investment support, such as Kredivo, Atome and Akulaku, have established their bases and generated profit,” the research firm said.

Kredivo and Akulaku are based in Indonesia while Atome is based in Singapore. The latter two are already operating in the Philippines while Kredivo is actively preparing.

Meanwhile, SB Finance, a joint venture of Security Bank and Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya, is entering the BNPL field through a partnership with appliance and motorcycle dealer Emcor Inc., which has an extensive network in Visayas, Mindanao and Palawan. Emcor also sells furniture, computers and information technology products.

Through the partnership, Emcor customers can avail themselves of BNPL options through SB Finance’s Pay Hooloogan service using the Zuki mobile application.

Hooloogan offers a credit line of up to P200,000, which buyers can use to pay for appliances, furniture, laptops, smartphones and motorcycle accessories at partner establishments such as Emcor. Borrowers can pay in easy installments from three to 48 months.

SB Finance president Abbie Casanova said in a statement that the partnership with Emcor allows them to expand the reach of Hooloogan.

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Nelson Aparejo, president and chief operating officer of Emcor, said the partnership with SB Finance provides their customers more payment options “to get the things they want, on their terms.”

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has issued guidelines on the settlement of e-payments, to encourage wider use of digital payment channels while ensuring safety and security of transactions. INQ

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