How to Skyrocket Your BNPL Products: Technology is Everythingby Fintech News Singapore September 28, 2023
Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) wallets were once dubbed a “billion-dollar plan to destroy credit cards.”
However, BNPL providers such as Afterpay and Klarna have since begun offering contactless Mastercard and physical Visa cards, respectively.
Currently, both Visa and Mastercard have enabled all their merchants to accept BNPL cards. Launching BNPL products on card rails minimises investment in finding retail partners and eliminates compliance issues.
Conversely, non-card BNPL offerings have raised regulatory concerns, particularly in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia, the US and the UK.
To leverage established card industry standards and embedded lending innovations, several BNPL providers have selected global payments software provider OpenWay‘s Way4 software platform and implemented diverse BNPL business models:
- Japanese brand JACCS migrated to Way4 to enhance digital-first customer experiences in Vietnam, launching BNPL services and a digital wallet in 2023.
- South Korean brand LOTTE introduced PayLater in 2021, one of Vietnam’s first e-commerce BNPL solutions used by prominent online retailers Vntrip.vn and Tiki.
- Nets, a European processor within Nexi Group, and OpenWay jointly won a PayTech award as the Best Consumer Payments Initiative in 2020. Nets enables banks, retailers and EMIs to launch BNPL products within 2-3 months.
- Procco Financial Services in Bahrain launched open- and closed-loop BNPL products in 2006, including Islamic Sharia-compliant instalment cards with multiple tenure options on POS.
OpenWay’s case study highlights the key technology that helps these and other companies avoid typical pitfalls in implementing BNPL solutions.
Improved BNPL customer conversion via real-time front-to-back processing
E-commerce studies show that a checkout page that takes more than 9 seconds to load results in an abandoned cart. A quick payment experience is also vital for in-store POS transactions.
As an additional checkout step, selecting and approving an instalment plan should take seconds, not minutes. Speed is essential to an excellent customer experience and a successful BNPL payment.
On their choice of Way4 platform, Kim Jong Geuk, CEO of LOTTE Finance commented,
“It was important for us to find a technological solution that would allow us to take into account the requirements of large online retailers in Vietnam for a seamless checkout experience.”
Way4 is the only card issuing and loan management platform in the market that features a 24/7 online back and front office, real-time front-to-back reconciliation, and online accounting.
Thanks to this, both customer onboarding and activation of pre-approved instalment plans take place in a matter of seconds.
Complicated refunds deter BNPL customers from using the BNPL option again. But Way4 simplifies refunds by processing chargebacks in real-time.
It promptly cancels loans, deducts any applicable interest and fees, and refunds the remaining amount, or puts repayments on hold until the order return is confirmed, notifying the customer.
Expanded BNPL acceptance network: virtual cards via mobile wallet
Offering BNPL products as Mastercard and Visa cards expands acceptance networks, but it is hardly cost-efficient to issue a new plastic card for each instalment plan. Moreover, a digital-first experience is preferred by customers.
OpenWay offers the best of both worlds, since its Way4 platform enables BNPL providers to issue virtual instalment cards and make them instantly available via mobile wallet for on-POS, e-commerce, and in-app BNPL transactions.
A closed-loop BNPL payment network can rely on a wallet-only solution without the card issuing component.
In Vietnam, where a largely unbanked population is unused to card payments, Way4 enables Mirae Asset Finance Company to activate loans via mobile QR code payments.
Online data analysis for minimised delinquency
According to Harvard researchers, BNPL delinquency rates are outpacing those of credit cards. The payments industry is responding concerning development with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion planning to create new BNPL-specific credit reporting products.
Way4 integrates with credit bureaus, and further lets BNPL providers configure their own scoring scenarios. It conducts real-time analysis of customer accounts, cards and repayment plans.
It also checks the credit balance of third-party cards linked to the customer’s mobile wallet. Way4 can decline loan origination if the total existing debt exceeds the provider’s threshold, or potentially extend the repayment period offered to this customer.
Personalising BNPL options
According to McKinsey, some customers prefer to pay in four installments while others choose BNPL plans with interest and longer terms. Way4 supports both scenarios.
Sebastian Elbel, Head of Lending Products at Nets, highlights another way to personalise the customer experience.
“One of our core services is to convert a card transaction into an instalment.
It might also be also interesting to combine multiple transactions into one instalment plan.”
This works well for purchases related to a wedding or vacation. For even greater flexibility, Way4 enables customers to restructure instalment plans for longer terms with lesser repayments, choose a currency for each BNPL card, and get pre-approved loans for non-spontaneous shopping.
It is worth noting that 81% of Gen Z’ers surveyed by EY demonstrated that personalisation affects the depth of their relationship with a financial institution.
Read OpenWay’s full case study to gain more insights on launching a successful BNPL offering.