Klarna rival Zilch launches buy now pay later feature for in-store purchases in the UK

UK-based buy now pay later (BNPL) FinTech firm Zilch introduced a ‘tap and pay-over-time’ solution which enables high street shoppers to make in-store purchases and pay later.

The FinTech firm has extended BNPL services, which were predominantly for digital transactions, to bricks and mortar shops. The feature will allow consumers to add a Zilch card to their digital wallet and tap and pay later in-store, spreading the costs over a six week period.

Zilch launched its beta operations in 2019 with an aim to differentiate its product offering in the overcrowded BNPL market. Its platform connects directly with clients and uses soft background credit checks carried out by Credit Kudos through open banking to determine feasibility and overall affordability.

With over 125,000 shoppers signing up every month, the firm will be working cooperatively with Monavate to simplify and improve the way its customers pay. It developed an over-the-top platform that is merchant agnostic, therefore allowing consumers to tap to pay wherever they need to use such services.

At a time when BNPL startups have been under fire regarding responsible lending practices, Zilch emphasised that it’s fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

While it can be argued that regulation doesn’t mean consumers are protected from engaging in excessive spending, the firm affirmed that it ensures customers never over-borrow. It does so by using open banking and AI to determine each customer’s level of affordability and only funds low-value discretionary purchases.

Founded by Philip Belamant and Serge Belamant, the company reported an accelerated growth with its quarterly growth exceeding 166%.

Commenting on the launch Belamant said, “This new feature falls in line with our mission to become the best way to pay, anywhere – as we’ve created a completely easy and seamless journey for our customers in-store that doesn’t rely on annoying QR codes or Barcodes.”

In December 2020, Zilch secured a $30m pre-Series B after which it raised a further $10m.

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