Sydney fintech startup Afterpay launches buy now, pay later service in Topshop Topman Australian stores

- September 8, 2016 3 MIN READ
Fast 50

Sydney fintech startup Afterpay has today launched its payment service in Topshop Topman stores across Australia. Originally available to customers through online retailers only, Afterpay is now extending its offer into physical stores with the rollout to nine Topshop Topman stores across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

With the growth of millennial fashion brands like Topshop, shoppers are increasingly wanting to buy now and pay later in an attempt to manage their monthly budgets. Essentially bringing the layby concept into 2016, Afterpay allows shoppers to complete online and in-store purchases through multiple transactions. Customers can receive their purchases and pay for them through four fortnightly payments, breaking up the total cost of their purchase.

Unlike laybys, however, where customers place a down payment on an item they wish to hold, pay-off, and receive later, Afterpay’s process does not require customers to enter into a traditional loan or pay upfront fees. Customers who use Afterpay can simply choose how much they wish to pay and the payment scheme that works best for them.

In-store consumers of Topshop Topman can access Afterpay through their smartphone, where they enter in their details to receive an approval barcode to present at the register. The barcode confirms with the sales merchant the items the consumer wishes to purchase and their payment plan.

Managing director of Afterpay, Nick Molnar said the startup takes a customer-centric approach by applying leading technology to provide a seamless omni-channel service.

“We are excited to have one of fashion’s biggest success stories partner with Afterpay. To have Topshop Topman on board substantiates the strength of the Afterpay model and we look forward to continuing to expand this next phase of development.”

With over 140,000 Afterpay customers requesting for the service to be applied to in-store purchases, Molnar said it was an easy decision to expand the startups offering.

Since launch last year, the fintech startup has listed more than 600 retailers on its platform including General Pants, Optus, Jeanswest and now Topshop Topman. The platform has also released some key growth figures around customer metrics. Over the past six months the platform has experienced more than 65 percent of its transactions by repeat customers along with receiving 650,000 monthly page views.

As the platform expands Afterpay of course needs to be mindful of untrustworthy customers who may use the service to commit fraud or fail to complete payments. To minimise fraud, Afterpay uses sophisticated proprietary technology to assess a customer capability in paying for purchases. Each time a customer makes a purchase any outstanding payments along with their repayment history is reviewed before approval.

Last year Molnar claimed Australia was lacking in the pay later services market, telling Startup Daily there was an “obvious gap in the market for the ability for an online customer to try the goods before they have to pay.” However recently there are more competitors coming into play and like Afterpay who are striking deals with large retail companies, brands and channels.

In July this year, fintech startup zipPay partnered with online marketplace ARCHFASHION to provide customers with the ability to buy now and pay later, and like Afterpay without interest. zipPay refers to its service as a digital friendly wallet, giving consumers access of up to $1,000 in credit. Also similar to Afterpay, consumers can pay off their purchases over an extended period of time.

zipPay was created to increase specifically online purchases and is yet to roll out into physical stores, finding their niche solely in ecommerce.

“There are many buy-now, pay-later systems that are simply used for layby but zipPay is more than this. We are also issuing the customer with a new funding source, therefore increasing their buying power at checkout. It is about buying more, buying better, buying now,” said founder of zipPay Larry Diamond.

Image: Nick Molnar. Source: Supplied.