- Japanese buy now, pay later fintech Smartpay launched Smartpay Bank Direct, a tool that will enable users to pay for their purchases directly from their bank accounts.
- Prior to today’s launch, Smartpay users could only repay using a credit card.
- Smartpay is currently available in Japan, KSA, and the UAE. The company aims to expand into Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and other markets in Southeast Asia and MENA.
Japan-based Smartpay is launching Smartpay Bank Direct, a tool that offers users a new way to pay for their online installment purchases.
Starting today, Smartpay users can pay for their buy now, pay later (BNPL) purchases directly from their bank accounts. The move is made possible by Smartpay’s partnerships with 67 banks and makes Smartpay one of the first consumer finance companies to leverage Japan’s open banking ecosystem.
Smartpay markets itself as a “payments experience” company, offering consumers a BNPL tool that enables consumers to pay for their purchases in three installments over the course of two months with no fees or interest. When the company launched its BNPL tool, consumers could only repay using their credit card. Today’s launch empowers them to pay directly from their bank account.
Japan revised its open banking approach in June 2018, when it required banks to offer open APIs within two years. After the start of 2020, the deadline was extended to September 2020. By that time, 97% of banks were in compliance.
“Since the launch of Smartpay just over a year ago, as Japan’s first BNPL solution payable by credit card, we have continued to expand our partner ecosystem with new retailers and an expanding customer base with revenue growth over 200% in the last three months,” said Smartpay founder and CEO Sam Ahmed. “It’s interesting that we have lifted merchant average order value more than 30% in four different merchant categories. We attract higher value consumers for the merchant through our eKYC process.”
Smartpay was founded in 2021 and is currently focused on Japan, KSA, and UAE markets. The company aims to expand into Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and other markets in Southeast Asia and MENA “in the medium term.”