Buy now pay later (BNPL) firm LayBuy says it is accelerating its UK expansion plans after reporting a 70 per cent jump in revenues in the last three months as Brits splurged over Black Friday and Christmas.
The Auckland-based firm doubled down on its annual targets after passing NZ$1.1 billion (£540m) annual revenue and adding 2000 new merchants in the third quarter alone, including high street stalwarts GAP, Timberland, and River Island.
Gary Rohloff, chief executive of LayBuy, told City AM that the firm was now ramping up UK growth plans.
He said: “We’ve had a stellar third quarter driven by growth in the UK, which continues to go to plan. The UK really is our growth engine.”
Rohloff said that the UK BNPL market is in its “relative infancy in comparison to the Australasian market” and the growth opportunities are therefore “so much greater than they are down here right now.”
“That’s where our focus is,” he added.
The firm has tempted in a number of big-name retail partners with products including an in-app card that allows shoppers to use BNPL for in-store payments.
Rohloff said the platform will eventually enable access to more than 5,000 UK brands and “will see Laybuy cement its place as one of the top three BNPL providers in the large UK retail market.”
BNPL market leader Klarna is also gearing up to take a slice of the UK’s offline market with its Klarna Card launched yesterday, which will allow customers to spread payments over 30 days.
Government is however preparing to clamp down on BNPL providers this year over fears that consumers are taking on debt without knowing the risks.
Consumer watchdog Which? this month called for stronger safeguards after it found consumers did not understand they were taking on a form of debt when they used BNPL. Regulation of BNPL is expected later this year or in early 2023.
Rohloff said LayBuy had actively engaged with regulators throughout the process.
He said: “We feel that we are offering a service that is one that customers are looking for, as a viable alternative to high interest bearing credit.”