Sezzle chief says lots of room for new BNPL players

  • By Elizabeth Fry

The head of ASX-listed Sezzle said the entry of ApplePay into the buy now pay later market reinforces the view that BNPL is here to stay and rejected the idea that the market was overcrowded 

Charlie Youakim’s comments followed a report by Bloomberg last week that the tech giant is set to launch a service to let shoppers pay for purchases in instalments that will challenge Australian buy now pay later operators in the lucrative US market.  

The chief executive said the company was surprised about the Apple news, although as yet, he does not have enough information to understand how Apple intends to play in the space.   

“Their entry does reinforce what we already know - that BNPL is here to stay, and increasingly relevant. It is rapidly becoming a preferred payment option for next-gen consumers seeking a fresh approach to accessing and using credit, as well as, in the case of Sezzle users, building creditworthiness,” said Youakim.  

“There is lots of room in this space for new players to compete and even join forces to support BNPL's evolution into a mainstream and dominant payment solution - and a gateway to extended or traditional credit."   

The news of Apple Pay hit just before Sezzle announced that the US credit card company Discover, will invest $40 million in the Aussie BNPL provider. 

 In addition to the investment, the two companies are planning to enter an expanded relationship including a BNPL network on the Discover global network as well as a dedicated referral program introducing credit and debit products to Sezzle’s consumer base.  

The Sezzle chief executive said the BNPL operator had a unique position and a well-differentiated value proposition for both consumers and merchants.  

“We understand the financial, credit-building, and social imperatives that drive next-gen consumers.   

“As the only B Corp in the payments space, we support them with payment solutions, financial empowerment, and literacy, as well as a path to good credit, as they use Sezzle to manage today's budget.   

“As a next-gen marketer, we also support leading brands in building a bridge to engage millions of Sezzle users, many of whom look thin file today, but will emerge as prime-to-be consumers," said Youakim. 

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