Physical Merchants Get Help Riding BNPL Wave
Let’s get into the payment return machine. We are in 2007. “Shrek” and “Harry Potter” dominate the box office. Beyonce dominates the pop charts. The iPhone is a whole new product, and the “digital wallet” is seven years away with the 2014 introduction of Apple Pay.
At the time, a real-time lending platform WisetackCEO of Bobby tzekin was at the forefront of the upcoming payments revolution as Senior Manager of Merchant Services at Pay Pal. As he said in a conversation with PYMNTS, continued innovation was certainly an expectation for the payments space, but the explosive path it took until 2021 was hardly predictable.
One of these innovations has been the rapid rise of buy now, pay later (BNPL). One problem that Tzekin and Wisetack have been solving lately is finding ways to extend the BNPL model to as many verticals as possible.
“There are companies that will have difficulty using technology or using modern payment options. A small business, someone like an electric company with a dozen employees doesn’t necessarily have the resources to devote to sophisticated setups or on-board payment providers, ”Tzekin said, noting that these companies don’t. not have an easy way to leverage BNPL.
Wisetack, he said, was developed to be that easy path for traders. It is an application programming interface (API) which allows them to easily create and launch a BNPL offer for their customers in “a few minutes”.
The power of PayPal ten years ago was that it allowed merchants to easily create an account and sell in minutes, and consumers to be set up to buy in the same short period of time. Wisetack, he said, aims to bring the same innovative simplicity to real-world small and medium businesses (SME) when it comes to subscribing to BNPL services.
These services are what consumers have made it clear they want, and they will favor the merchants who offer them, he said. Credit Cards are a great way to pay for goods and services, but they’re a terrible way to borrow because they’re so essentially a mystery to consumers.
“I have billed my credit card and have no idea what that will mean for my bill at the end of the month,” Tzekin said. “And I have very good credit.”
This feeling that their debt will somehow become mysterious to them, perhaps ruinously, became evident in the decade following the Great Recession. This has left consumers, especially younger ones, extremely hesitant to take on massive shares of credit card debt. This means that when these consumers are faced with costly home or car repairs, they are forced to incur high interest credit card debt that they neither want nor understand, or forgo necessary services because that they don’t have the money available to pay them.
The transparency and simplicity of BNPL installment payment offerings have consistently proven to be attractive to consumers as an alternative to revolving credit card debt, but an alternative that is simply not available enough in SMB transactions. real world where consumers might actually need it. But that, Tzekin said, is something the last year alone has seen abruptly start to change.
“What we observed from January of last year to January of this year – our monthly lending volume increased 20 times,” Tzekin said. “Our merchant base has actually grown even more. We see the enthusiasm for this explosion in all areas. The most exciting part we’ve seen is how positive the feedback has been.
What is becoming quite clear is that BNPL’s offerings meet a real need of consumers, he said. The space is becoming competitive and crowded, as consumer enthusiasm for a better way to pay has generated a corresponding clamor for businesses looking to meet this customer need and desire.
“It’s a generally easier way to borrow than to take on credit card debt,” he said. “The huge adoption and popularity comes from the fact that the technology of the last decade has become such an incredibly easy payment method. It’s quick, it’s easy, and people understand what they’re signing up for. “
And, he said, Wisetack is avoiding the crowds rushing to serve the masses online by moving to the physical world below but not outside, which is newly invested in finding better ways to secure conversions. and respond to service offers from digital providers.
Wisetack, he said, is taking its own path in a market that has been underserved when it comes to BNPL, but where merchants are increasingly ready to join them in helping consumers secure the markets. major purchases they need. The goal for 2021 will be to grow the business to meet what is turning out to be an impressive wave of demand.