Buy now, pay later (BNPL) is the one of the latest financial trend to grip us here and overseas. If you are interested in investing in the space, we talk you through how BNPL works, which companies you can choose from and how they have performed on the ASX.
What is Buy Now, Pay Later?
BNPL allows users to pay for things in installments instead of paying the full amount upfront. BNPL platforms don’t typically charge interest, like you’d expect from a credit card, instead they charge fees such as late fees, monthly account keeping fees, payment processing fees and establishment fees. BNPL is also typically easier to access than a credit card, as you can avoid lengthy credit checks and paperwork.
BNPL companies also make revenue from partnering with retailers who are charged a transaction fee each time a sale is made using their platform. However, some retailers and merchants choose to partner with BNPL platforms as it can help secure a sale and in some cases increase how much customers will spend.
Buy now, pay later companies listed on the ASX
Buy now, pay later has really taken off in recent years, with over 3.3 million Australians (15.7%) in the last financial year using the service having grown from 6.8% in 2018, according to Roy Morgan. The popularity of BNPL is evident in the number of companies emerging in this space.
Related article: Investing in Buy Now, Pay Later
Afterpay Limited (ASX: APT)
Afterpay is arguably the most well-known and popular BNPL platform. It launched on the ASX in 2017 and at the time the share price was $2.95, at the time of writing, its share price is hovering around $120, that’s an increase of over 4000%. Year-to-date the share price has increased but by a more modest 2.60%. Currently, Afterpay has 16 million active users and they are partnered with over 100k merchants. Afterpay is also available in the UK, USA, New Zealand and Canada.
Zip Co Limited (ASX: Z1P)
Zip was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Sydney. At the time of writing, Zip had 7.3 million users and 50K retail partners including, Target, Bunnings, Kmart and Amazon. In September 2020, Zip acquired American buy now, pay later company Quadpay, expanding their footprint in the US market. Zip’s share price has grown 13% year to date and is currently sitting at $6.34.
Latitude Pay (ASX: LFS)
Founded in 2015 and based in Melbourne, Latitude Financial Services offer loans, credit cards, insurance and a BNPL service known as Latitude Pay. Users of Latitude Pay can purchase things and pay for it in 10 weekly installments. In 2018, Latitude joined forces with Kiwi company Genoapay, to expand their services to the New Zealand market. At the time of writing, their Latitude Financial Services share price was $2.17, which is down by 19% year-to-date.
Sezzle (ASX: SZL)
Sezzle one one of the leading BNPL platforms in North America. At the time of writing, Sezzle had 3 million active users and over 40K active retailers/merchants across the US and Canada. The company made it’s stock market debut on the ASX in 2019. Year-to-date Sezzle’s share price has fallen by 14% and, at the time of writing, it’s sitting at $5.39.
Humm (ASX: HUM)
In 2020, Flexigroup rebranded as Humm, this coincided with a change in direction for the company from commercial leasing operations into purely buy now, pay later. Humm’s efforts in BNPL seem to be gaining traction with 2.7 million users across Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Humm also has plans to expand into Canada in 2022. At the time of writing, the company’s share price is $0.87 which is down by 23% year-to-date.
Splitit (ASX: SPT)
Splitit is a little different to the other buy now, pay later services available. With Splitit, you split payments on your existing credit card into smaller, easier to manage installments. Splitit has partnerships with Visa and Mastercard, and has operations in the USA and in the UK. In the second quarter of 2021, the company boasted $90 million in merchant sales volume and partnerships with 2.8k merchants. At the time of writing, Splitit’s share price was $0.38 falling from $1.30 year-to-date.
Openpay (ASX: OPY)
Openpay claims to have the most flexible repayment plans on the market with plans up to 24 months and users can spend up to $20,000. The company is active in both Australia and the UK, and has partnerships with Officeworks, Kogan and even veterinarians (as we all know, vets bills can really add up). The company is headquartered in Melbourne and currently has 541k active customers and 3.7K merchants. Year-to-date Openpay’s share price has fallen by 45% to $1.30.
LayBuy (ASX: LBY)
LayBuy is already a popular BNPL service in New Zealand and recently entered the Australia market. The company also made its stock market debut listing on the ASX in September 2020. LayBuy has 889K active customers and over 11K merchants, and much of their growth recently has been from their expansion into the UK market. The company is currently trading at $0.48, down by 64% year-to-date.
IOUpay (ASX: IOU)
Although, IOUpay is headquartered in Sydney, the company actually operate mostly in South East Asia, providing fintech and digital commerce software and services in the region – BNPL being one of them. Formerly known as Isentric, the company rebranded to IOUpay to be more inline with the new direction of the company. Currently, they have partnerships with over 2k merchants and retailers. Year-to-date IOUpay’s share price has grown 19% and is sitting at $0.24.
Douugh (ASX: DOU)
Douugh is a fintech company and neobank that was founded in 2016 by Andy Taylor, Co-founder of SocietyOne, Australia’s first and leading P2P Lending platform. Douugh has recently partnered with Humm to offer a BNPL service, which will be called CreditJar. CreditJar will offer up to $1,000 credit, with purchases paid off in six weekly instalments. At the time of writing, Douugh’s share price is $0.07 having fallen from $0.17 year-to-date.
Should you invest in BNPL?
Before investing in any company, BNPL or otherwise, it is important to do your own research and ensure it aligns with your investment goals, strategy and time frame. It is also important to bear in mind that past performance is not an indicator of future performance.
Cover image source: Dragon Images / Shutterstock