Revolut is planning on expanding into the ‘buy now, pay later’ market as a competitor for Klarna, the Evening Standard has revealed.
Nikolay Storonsky, founder and CEO of Revolut, said his company was working on a checkout feature and the ability to let its customers to spread the cost of any purchase made using its cards. However, the feature is in early development and only likely to be trialled next year across some European markets.
“Simply a button which you switch on and then your card becomes a buy now pay later product,” Storonsky explained. “Instead of paying upfront everything, you pay a third and then in two weeks time we charge you a third and then another third.”
“For Revolut to succeed in such a crowded market, it’s going to have to offer something most of its peers don’t — that could be enabling users to convert purchases made using Revolut to instalment payments at a later point, for example,” said Sarah Kocianski, a strategist at Founders Factory.
An FCA report published earlier this year said there was “a significant potential [for] consumer harm”, flagging concerns about affordability checks and the possibility of hidden debt. The report’s author said there was “an urgent need to regulate all buy now pay later (BNPL) products”.
“One fear is people will get into debt accidentally because they can’t keep track of all the BNPL purchases they’ve made, often through many different providers,” said Kocianski. “There is also concern that people don’t fully understand the different products offered by providers — interest free instalment payments vs credit, for example — and end up unable to manage payments, or not realising they will have to pay interest on purchases until it’s too late.”
Revolut’s plan to enter the market comes just a few months after it became Britain’s most valuable private tech company in history. Investors valued the business at $33bn as part of a $800m funding round in July.