Top 10 Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Players in Indiaby Fintech News Singapore July 19, 2021
The global pandemic brought about a fundamental shift in the way consumers interact with businesses. As lockdowns and movement restrictions were implemented, digital adoption soared at an accelerated speed. People started shopping online for almost everything from food and groceries to clothing. This resulted in a surge in online payments and also kindled growth for the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) segment of consumer lending.
BNPL refers to short-term micro-credit options that enable consumers to shop online and pay within a few days or weeks with little to no interest. Starting with e-commerce marketplaces, BNPL options can now be found on food delivery, travel booking, grocery and other essentials delivery platforms.
BNPL options in India emerged before the pandemic to bridge the huge gap in consumer lending in the country. Out of the 900 million banked Indians, only 3.33% or 30 million people are unique credit card-holders. This gap in access to credit for small-ticket items presented a massive opportunity for BNPL players in India. According to a recent survey, BNPL payments in India is expected to grow by 65.5% annually to reach US$ 1.1 billion in 2021.
Apart from the purely BNPL players in India, traditional banks have also forayed into the segment in addition to e-commerce giants and payments companies. This includes HDFC Bank’s FlexiPay and ICICI Bank’s ICICI PayLater offerings.
Here’s a look at the major BNPL players in the Indian market.
Founded in 2015, Simpl has emerged as a major challenger in the BNPL segment in India. The startup’s mobile-first platform offers instant account approval and allows users to pay for online purchases with one tap. All online expenses are consolidated in the Simpl account and the balance needs to be cleared every 15 days. The firm does not charge any interest but payment defaults can attract penalties.
Simple claims to have partnered with over 4,500 merchants across India and has over 7 million users. The startup has raised over US$26 million to date from investors including IA Ventures and Green Visor Capital. The firm witnessed an uptick in daily essential transactions last year by 50% compared to pre-Covid levels through online orders. It also saw an increase of 1.5X in the average ticket size in 2020.
Founded in 2016, ZestMoney is among the fastest-growing fintechs in India. The company’s unique offering allows users to shop online and pay back later through easy instalments. The startup’s platform uses mobile technology, digital banking and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide access to capital to people who cannot get loans for consumer purchases through traditional mediums.
But ZestMoney differs from other consumer lending platforms because of its partnerships with online merchants. For instance, ZestMoney can be used to pay for big-ticket purchases like furniture or flight tickets – purchases that are not typically covered by traditional lending platforms. Moreover, ZestMoney offers interest-free instalment options with select merchants for tenures of up to six months.
ZestMoney has raised over US$68 million to date. Its investors include Goldman Sachs, Omidyar Network, Naspers, Coinbase, among others. ZestMoney registered 50% growth in the average ticket size of edtech transactions, 30% in personal loans and 15% in e-commerce during 2020 compared to the previous year. The platform has over 6 million registered users.
LazyPay provides a combination of Simpl and ZestMoney offerings. Users can shop online with one tap and clear dues every 15 days or convert them into equated monthly instalments (EMIs). The startup also provides loan options of up to roughly US$1,300 (INR 100,000). LazyPay is available on more than 250 websites in India. The platform offers paperless credit disbursal with minimal documentation.
The LazyPay brand is operated by PayU Finance which belongs to the parent company PayU, a digital payments firm owned by Naspers. LazyPay had 2 million active users at the end of 2020. Moreover, the platform has processed over 10 million transactions and disbursed over US$67 million in credit.
Flexmoney operates InstaCred, an instant credit platform that has gained a strong foothold in the BNPL market in India. InstaCred enables banks and other lenders to offer lender-branded financing options across online platforms. Moreover, the platform offers flexible payment options like LazyPay, where customers can choose between full payment and EMIs. However, unlike LazyPay, the startup does not offer financing from its own pocket. It simply enables lenders to reach a wider audience and tap into the BNPL market by connecting them with online merchants.
Flexmoney claims to have partnerships with over 3,800 merchants across India. It has inked deals with six major lenders offering over 25 million pre-approved ‘cardless’ EMI credit lines. Incorporated in 2015, the firm has bagged US$ 6.5 million in funding to date.
ePayLater was established in 2015 and offers hassle-free checkouts on online platforms. Customers can avail of an interest-free credit limit of up to US$ 268 (INR20,000) for two weeks. The firm claims to have disbursed approximately US$ 89.8 million (INR 6.7 billion) since 2017 in the food and groceries retail segment alone. The startup is now looking to foray into the B2B and small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) lending segment.
6. Paytm Postpaid
In 2019, payments giant Paytm entered the BNPL segment in India with its Postpaid offering. Paytm’s Postpaid allows users to shop online and clear the balance next month. Bills are generated on the 1st of every month and can be paid till the 7th. This indicates a relatively longer-term credit offering compared to other BNPL players in India. Customers can access credit of up to roughly US$ 1,300 (INR 100,000) and the payment option is available across more than 500,000 online and offline shops and websites. Unlike other BNPL players, however, Paytm charges a convenience fee of zero to 3% of net monthly spending.
7. OlaMoney Postpaid
Ride-hailing company Ola, the Uber of India, launched its BNPL offering with ‘OlaMoney Postpaid’ in 2018. Ola’s BNPL offering provides standard features like interest-free credit with 15-days repayment. The payment method can be used to pay for Ola cab rides as well as across over 300 applications. Ola claims to offer hassle-free payments with no hidden charges.
8. Amazon Pay Later
To tap into the growing need for consumer financing amid the pandemic, e-commerce giant Amazon launched its Pay Later option in 2020. Amazon Pay Later can be used by customers to purchase a myriad of consumer products on the Amazon India desktop and mobile platforms. However, customers can only sign up for Amazon Pay Later through the mobile application at present. Users can avail of interest-free credit and repay in full within 15 days or in instalments with interest within three to 12 months.
Amazon Pay Later has recorded over 10 million transactions at a 99.9% payment success rate since its launch, the company claims. Amazon Pay Later offers customers instant credit of up to US$1,300 (INR20,000) which can be extended by updating know-your-customer details.
9. Flipkart Pay Later
Following in the footsteps of Amazon, Walmart-owned rival e-commerce giant Flipkart also launched a similar BNPL option last year. The payment method offers repayment tenure of up to 35 days. Moreover, a unique feature of Flipkart Pay Later is the option to make partial repayment of bills. Customers can pay a minimum due amount, including a convenience fee, on or before the 10th of the month. The remaining balance can be cleared in the next bill cycle and users can continue using the payment method without penalties or suspension of their account.
10. Capital Float
Founded in 2013, Capital Float is a well known BNPL player in India and one of the partners powering Amazon’s Pay Later feature. With Capital Float’s BNPL option, also available as Walnut 369, customers can avail of instant credit and repay in full or in EMIs. The company also provides digital credit to individuals for their personal and business needs. Capital Float has over 2 million customers and has financed over 7.5 million purchases.