Asia Pacific Fintech Movement: Buy Now, Pay Later

BNPL’s payment industry has been thriving in the midst of the pandemic.

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BNPL’s payment industry has been thriving in the midst of the pandemic. The acceleration of e-commerce penetration in Asia Pacific region along with the economic slowdown lead to the change of spending habits. Buy Now, Pay Later breaks through the stagnant economic hardship with flexible, alternative payment methods. By removing financial complexity, small businesses can now offer better payment tenure options to customers and make purchases more convenient and transparent.


Atome – ET Mall and Standard Chartered Partnership

Atome, a Singapore-based ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) company was launched in December 2019. It is now present in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan, partnered with more than 5,000 offline and online retailers, such as Agoda, Sephora, ZALORA and Zara. As an AI-driven technology company, Atome ranks No.1 on LinkedIn’s 2021 Top Startups List in Singapore under the Advance Intelligence Group. [1]  Atome’s slogan: “We believe in empowering shoppers to afford products and services over time” captures the main service in providing affordable quality products with zero-installment fees. [2]

Early this year, Atome partnered up with one of Taiwan’s biggest e-commerce platforms, ET Mall, to provide a comprehensive and diversified shopping experience for consumers. Yang Junyuan, CEO of ET Mall pointed out that they have observed that consumers who use Atome at checkout purchase mainly high-end housewares and electronic devices. He is confident that BNPL with interest-free installment can increase conversion rate and business growth in both short and long run. [3]

Apart from the cooperation with e-commerce platforms, international bankers also spot the potential growth of the BNPL market. Last year, Atome secured a US$500 million investment from Standard Chartered and developed a 10-year strategic fintech partnership. [4] The goal is to jointly expand the market share of BNPL and create a diverse ecosystem for merchants and consumers.


GrabPay – PayLater & PayLater Postpaid

PayLater by Grab was launched in 2019, the same year as Atome’s launch. It offers slightly different functions than most of the BNPL players. To provide more incentives for consumers, they released the PayLater feature with four monthly installments or pay the entire amount at the end of the next month, PayLater Postpaid. Even during the peak of the pandemic, the app recorded a striking number of 600,000 new merchants in Southeast Asia. [5]



Besides them, payment solution providers including Stripe, Hoolah, Razer and Kredivo all jumped into this newly developed BNPL market. Owing to its newness, there is still a large, sizable gap for every stakeholder to seize. The gross merchandise value in 2021 was in a bullish trend reaching $82,806.9 Million across Asia Pacific. It is expected to grow steadily over the forecast period and reach $749,226.9 Million by 2028. [6] The growing number of users is driving more optimistics investors to fuel the industry with funding across the world. It is exciting to see this industry evolving with various functions and expanding its landscape in the global presence.


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