Standard Chartered pumps $500m into Atome to fuel BNPL rollout in Asian markets

Standard Chartered has inked a 10-year partnership with Atome Financial to help the company introduce its buy now, pay later (BNPL) service in select Asian markets.

According to Standard Chartered, the 10-year multi-product strategic partnership will combine the two companies’ strengths in finance and technology to deliver a wide range of financial services to consumers and merchants in the markets of Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia.

The partnership between Standard and Atome will initially involve rolling out the BNPL services before later expanding to include digital lending products. Standard said the partnership aspires to reach over 16 million customers by 2025 and gain access to multiple financial ecosystems in order to capture a share of the digital lending market.

The $500m investment into Atome Financial – the operator of the BNPL Atome – marks one of Standard Chartered’s largest strategic investments in a FinTech-to-date and supports its ambitions to expand its reach and scale within the mass market segment through a digital-first approach. Standard is also investing into digital lending platform Kredit Pintar in Indonesia.

The funding provided to Atome will help it grow and connect a wider ecosystem of merchants to a larger customer base, improving product access and financial inclusion for consumers across Asia. In addition, the bank said Atome’s customers will gain access to more innovative financial services.

Standard Chartered Bank CEO, consumer, private and business banking, Judy Hsu said, “Riding on our successful digital ventures and partnerships, we continue to be fearlessly innovative in disrupting ourselves to better serve our clients. This partnership with Atome Financial gives us the opportunity to be part of the rapidly growing digital consumer finance ecosystem and provides convenient and relevant digital financial products to complement and enrich clients’ digital lives. Our deep knowledge of Asia’s markets coupled with Atome Financial’s experience in digital consumer finance will allow us to reach even more customers and drive greater financial participation of those underserved and underbanked.”

CEO of Atome Financial Jefferson Chen added, “We are excited to have the support and partnership of Standard Chartered in building towards our mission of using technology to help people advance towards a better life. By providing consumers with easier, simpler, and more convenient access to a full suite of digital-first financial services, we can accelerate broader financial inclusion across both developed and emerging markets in Asia. At the same time, this partnership with Standard Chartered will allow us to expand our merchant network and help retailers increase their customer base and basket sizes, contributing to economic growth across the region.”

The BNPL market is currently going from strength to strength. Banking giant Mastercard recently entered the BNPL market after it unveiled flexible payment platform Installments in the US, the UK and Australia. Elsewhere, Italy-based payment solution that enables BNPL without interest Scalapay raised $155m in equity funding as part of their Series A round.

Global retail juggernaut Amazon also recently teamed with BNPL company Affirm to provide its US customers with a BNPL option at the checkout.

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