EML, Laybuy to deliver pay later service in Australia, then U.K.

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Brisbane, Australia-based EML has partnered with the New Zealand buy now, pay later (BNPL) fintech Laybuy to leverage digital cards for in-store and online retail purchases.

The service will be rolled out across Australia immediately, and plans call for it to be offered in the future in the U.K., where Laybuy launched in 2019. The BNPL solution is to be offered directly to merchants for use both in-store and online sales. The BNPL product will use a digital card issued to a smartphone app.

"We’re excited to be partnering with EML to provide Laybuy customers with an innovative new digital card issued by EML,” Gary Rohloff, co-founder and managing director of Laybuy, said in a press release. “This partnership will deliver real benefits to both retailers and consumers by providing another payment option to enhance and streamline the purchasing experience."

The Laybuy service is more closely aligned with the deferred payment products of industry rivals Afterpay and Splitit than with the installment loan product of rival Affirm. Afterpay splits a purchase into four equal installments charged to a customer’s debit card, while Splitit charges a customer’s credit card over time by using an existing credit line a customer may have available. In contrast, Affirm offers installment loans of three months to one year that charge a nominal interest rate.

According to Laybuy’s terms of service, the merchant receives the full amount of the purchase price, taxes, delivery costs and all other fees, net of the commission to Laybuy. The consumer makes six weekly installments on the purchase with the first payment occurring at time of purchase. Laybuy uses a direct debit capability to extract the funds from the customer’s assigned debit or credit card.

In April, EML completed its acquisiton of the Irish fintech Prepaid Financial Services at a 40% discount from the original deal struck last November. The original deal valued PFS at approximately $290 million, but after the coronavirus-induced discount of $117 million, the final price was about $173 million. At the time of the acquisition PFS had 6.6 million cards in circulation trading in 23 currencies in 150 white-label programs, covering more than 1,900 clients. Total card load volume for PFS since inception was over £9 billion (about $11.2 billion).

In January, the fintech CleverCards and Mastercard partnered with EML to allow any business to send digital Mastercard payment cards directly to an employee’s or customer’s mobile wallet by SMS/text, email or a messaging app such as WhatsApp. The purpose of the partnership is to enable businesses to provide instant expense reimbursements or advances for purchases to employees, as well as rebates and incentives to consumers, using digital cards sent directly to a mobile wallet.

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