Acquisitions, Partnerships, and Pivots: Getting In On the Buy Now Pay Later Revolution

From partnership to acquisition, the Buy Now Pay Later revolution shows few signs, if any, of abating any time soon.

Apple, one of the Big Tech companies that has been aggressive in its expansion into fintech and financial services, recently announced that it is teaming up with BNPL company Affirm Holdings to offer new, interest-free financing options for qualifying Apple customers in Canada. The new program enables consumers to finance iPhone purchases over a 24-month period and iPad and Mac purchases over a 12-month period, both with 0% APR.

The new initiative comes a month after Apple announced that it was teaming up with Goldman Sachs to help introduce its own Buy Now Pay Later service – ostensibly to rival companies like the aforementioned Affirm. The offering will reportedly be called Apple Pay Later.

And filed in the “if you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em” folder is the news from London, U.K.-based Buy Now Pay Later company Zilch. The firm agreed this week to acquire San Francisco, California-based debt funding platform Neptune Financial as part of setting up shop in the U.S. “We’ve been exploring growth options in the U.S. for some time and following the additional funding,” Zilch founder and CEO Philip Belamant said. “Now was the perfect time to take another meaningful step towards our U.S. launch.”

Zilch’s acquisition news comes less than a month after the company secured $110 million as part of an extension of its Series B round. One of the first Buy Now Pay Later firms in the U.K. (founded in 2018), Zilch enables consumers to pay for purchases using their virtual Zilch card by splitting their transaction into four, interest-free payments over a six week period. The company has raised more than $200 million and boasts 150,000 new sign-ups a month for its BNPL services.

One of the more interesting pivots in the BNPL space of late was an internal one as Canada’s Scotiabank announced that it will convert its credit card repayments into BNPL plans. The new arrangement will give cardholders the ability to pay off their debt balances in fixed installments over three-, six-, or 12-month periods.

“Our customers told us that they’re looking for more options to help them manage their finances,” Scotiabank SVP for Credit Cards and Lending Brett Mooney explained. “This new credit card feature offers our customers more flexibility in how they pay for purchases, in addition to the convenience, rewards and lifestyle benefits that our credit cards already provide.”

The new service is called Scotia SelectPay and can be accessed via the Scotia mobile banking app as well as online. Purchases of more than $100 are eligible for the new financing option, which requires no additional credit check or application.

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