Curve strikes $1bn deal with Credit Suisse to fund pay-later push
Fintech payments firm Curve said it had struck a $1bn deal with Swiss lender Credit Suisse today to fund a growth push for its buy-now pay-later product, Flex.
London-based Curve, which allows users to bring multiple payment cards together on one app, said the Zurich bank would fund its first $1bn dollars of BNPL loans as it targets a major growth push across the UK, Europe and the US.
The growth plans come at an inflection point for BNPL however as regulators prepare to tighten the screws and big tech firms and banks increasingly move in on the space.
Curve bosses said it had “defied[d] the market” with the new backing from Credit Suisse and now had “ambitious plans” to ramp up growth in its consumer lending business.
“We have launched and very successfully tested our unique Curve Flex product, and are delighted to be able to scale our lending capabilities with this new financing,” said Paul Harrald, Curve’s global investment and consumer lending chief.
Curve Flex, which will compete with products offered by firms like Klarna, Monzo and LayBuy, allows shoppers to split transactions they have made through Curve on any payment card across six, nine and 12 monthly instalments.
Shoppers are turning to the products in droves this year to cope with the rising cost of living. Research from payments firm Ecommpay this week found that 25 per cent of shoppers were more likely to use BNPL payment options than in 2021, while 27 already were already using the products.
Regulators are poised the clampdown on the products, however, after the Treasury outlined a framework for regulation earlier this year. Rules are expected to be drawn up for the sector next year by the Financial Conduct Authority before it clamps down in 2024.
The move to fund $1bn loans by Credit Suisse comes as the bank battles a downturn this year after consecutive heavy losses. Chiefs at the beleaguered lenders warned investors the bank would be hit by $1.5bn losses in the fourth quarter of the year.
Credit Suisse declined to comment.