Challenger bank Monzo is set to compete with other fintech companies like Klarna or PayPal and offer buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) services.
The BNPL market is at its peak in the UK and around the world. During this week, PayPal agreed to pay $2.7 billion for Japan’s Paidy, while Square is offering $29 billion for Australia’s Afterpay.
It is also important to note that Sweden’s Klarna is the world’s second most valuable privately-held fintech with a $45.6 billion valuation. Based just on its BNPL business model.
However, Monzo’s version is going to be slightly different. A source close to Monzo’s BNPL project said it is going to feature affordability checks for customers – something rivals generally do not require.
“This makes total sense,” said 11:FS CEO David Brear. “We have been waiting for Monzo to get into the bit of banking that makes it all worth doing—and that’s lending in all its forms.”
“Monzo has always been a customer-led bank and it needs to ensure it delivers [BNPL] in a way that helps customers, including vulnerable customers, to manage and improve their financial well-being,” added Brear.
Data will also be shared with credit checking agencies to give other lenders a full picture of people’s debt positions.
Charity Citizens Advice has said BNPL could be “a slippery slope into debt” and Labour MP Stella Creasy has warned it could be “the next Wonga waiting to happen.” The FCA has called for “urgent” regulation of the space.
“BNPL companies argue they are offering a cheaper alternative to payday loans and credit cards. BNPL providers generally do not charge interest or fees so long as people meet all their repayments on time. Monzo’s extra checks could go some way to addressing critic’s concerns,” Evening standard reported.