Overview: UK BNPL landscape

The increasing popularity of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) online purchases is growing at a rate of 39% a year according to Finder (2020), with market share set to double by 2023. Nearly 9.5 million Brits said that they avoided buying from retailers that don’t offer BNPL options at the checkout. This popularity looks set to continue, with 8.6 million Brits (13%) planning to use BNPL services more in the future. The number of UK brands offering BNPL options is also increasing, making it a viable way to pay for a lot of goods. For example, Klarna saw a 20% increase in UK brands using its service during April 2020. This is understandable, as BNPL options benefit retailers by increasing customer loyalty and basket conversions and boosting sales by up to 30%.

Here are some of the main players on the BNPL market:

PayPal – a global payments processing company covering pretty much every step within e-commerce, however has 20-year-old tech that is trying to be as nimble as a 1-year-old tech stack. PayPal actively works around QR payments, despite does not have QR lending options yet (yes, like JO1N J).

Deko – is a UK based innovative software company multi-product and multi-bank retail finance platform with award-winning technology. Deko predominantly focuses on interest-bearing products and redirect customers to other lenders on their back-end, hence obtaining a consumer credit licence might be required for the merchant.

Klarna – is a Swedish payment service provider that takes end-to-end responsibility for merchant payments. Klarna is the provider of smooth payments to more than 200,000 predominantly online stores. Over 85 million consumers worldwide have trusted Klarna to securely handle their payments. Alternatively, buyers can pay in 30 days. Try stuff on at home and decide which items they want to keep; you then have 30 days to pay. No upfront payments at checkout, no interest, and no fees (if paid on time). You can either choose to split your payment into three instalments which are collected every 30 days, with no interest or fees (if paid on time).

DivideBuy – UK based BNPL company with marketplace proposition. Does not provide customer identification, nor post-purchase experience. Unfortunately, customers can’t identify themselves with DivideBuy login across websites, which makes it a standalone checkout solution.

ClearPay – UK based global BNPL company focusing exclusively on online lending. Offline lending is not covered as well as identification tools. ClearPay does not charge a fee to shoppers when purchasing. ClearPay only charges fees to the merchants. The only fees applied to a shopper’s account are late fees if your scheduled payments are unsuccessfully processed. With ClearPay customer pays 25 % of the purchase at checkout. The rest is split into 4 equal instalments that have to be paid for their online services, only.

Zip Co – Australian BNPL company currently joining UK space. Zip is an example of a perfect, important and very interesting competitor actively investing in BNPL/checkout related ventures. The recent acquisition of Quadpay expresses the importance of vertical integration. Both sales channels are covered (online & offline), however, the company is not active in the customer identification and checkout field.

Zilch – OTP BNPL company. Wait, stop, what does OTP stand for? Zilch is a virtual over the top consumer credit card that allows you to buy now, pay later at thousands of retailers including Amazon, eBay, Ali Express and Nike. Sooo… you know those goodies on your wish list that you were patiently waiting until payday to buy? Zilch can help speed that along. The interest-free payment service allows you to buy products when you want them while spreading the cost of these items over four instalments in six weeks. Unfortunately, the company does not focus on offline distribution channel, moreover due to partnership with MasterCard, unlike partnering with merchants directly, not has offline proposition.

So, how is JO1N different and why is unique?

  1. Made for locals – we truly believe our main mission is to bring the variety of consumer finance offers optimal for small and media enterprises in the UK. Because it is the area which maintains business activities of local communities….
  2. Online & Offline – unlike the majority of the competitors we are going for less techy customers in areas where our competitors would not go. Large companies, such as Klarna or Zip predominantly focus on giant retailers overlooking small and medium businesses, moreover ignoring the needs of less technologically advances sole proprietors. Additionally, it is important to note that only two known start-ups (DivideBuy & Zilch) are fully UK based.
  1. QR product – We are pioneering the QR lending proposition and bringing it to the UK. Imagine the opportunity of coming into the store, scanning the QR code on that favourite t-shirt of yours and you are good to go? That’s what we are trying to propose. Currently such kind of product, is available only to the large retailers that (1) have advanced register/till systems and (2) are ready to make expensive integration. Thus, we are here to help out the most vulnerable part of the business community => SME’s.
  1. Post-transaction experience– to us is an equally as important experience as a BNPL or login experience built for our customers. When I purchase products using different credit cards, all of my transactions are across all of my bank statements on different retailers, I also have to check all of my emails to find the tracking information, figure out how to return something or if I want to reorder certain products. We think that it is a huge opportunity for us to provide value to both consumers and merchants. Thinking of consolidating all of that information in one tool => that’s what we are building with our buyer dashboard, home of all your e-commerce shopping. Everything related to your experience with e-shopping. By using our platform customers will be able to build wish lists, be able to reorder products via beautiful and convenient UI and UX that combines multiple sourcing channels. Essentially, we are building an ecosystem, we start with BNPL, currently working on our Universal ID propositions, which is an intersection between PoS-financing and identity. 1-click authentication and 1 click purchases.
  1. AI/ML innovation – The nature of our start-up allows us to provide more value to our clients by leveraging the tools of our parent/investor company that other start-ups simply don’t have access to due to financial reasons. Swiftly we will be able to adapt mechanics to raise the level of our in-house predictions on customer risk-profiles and utilize existing credit-scoring data to localize it to the UK market. Such practices will help to decrease the fraud level. Moreover, such a solution allows bringing the best value for the users by offering the different cross-sales products (subject to domestic regulations) for different customer groups of our merchants, thus increasing the profitability. Such technological superiority is possible due to the currently deployed technology stack built on microservices Kubernetes and the event streaming software Kafka

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