- UK neobank Zopa is getting into the buy now pay later (BNPL) market.
- The company had previously teased Q4 2022 for an IPO, and its CEO affirmed that it will be waiting for “the right moment” to go public.
- This article is a part of a series covering highlights from Money20/20 Europe.
Zopa is getting into the buy now, pay later (BNPL) market, it announced Wednesday.
The announcement came just the day after Apple said it was also launching BNPL services.
“We’re not gonna compete with Apple,” Zopa CEO Jaidev Janardana said at the Money20/20 fintech conference in Amsterdam on Wednesday. “Our focus will be on bigger-ticket items.”
Zopa’s BNPL option is available for purchases from £250 to £30,000 ($314 to $37,630).
The bank says it will carry out full credit checks to ensure it only offers affordable credit to customers and will help customers to consolidate their debt and build their credit profiles.
“We understand that BNPL is just debt,” Janardana said.
Ed Massey, Zopa’s head of partnerships and business development, called BNPL a “relatively unpredictable space,” citing upcoming events, rising inflation, and the current cost of living crisis.
Zopa said that its BNPL service will first be offered as retail finance for merchants through B2B2C partnerships, and then to consumers when new regulation comes into place.
Zopa first launched as a peer-to-peer lender connecting savers to borrowers, though it is closed down this stream of its business in late 2021. Since getting its banking license in 2020, Zopa says it has become profitable, attracted £1.2 billion in deposits , and issued around 300,000 credit cards.
Massey said that Zopa makes 7 million fully-automated lending decisions a month.
Zopa had previously earmarked the fourth quarter of 2022 for its IPO. Janardana said it’s “doing the necessary steps” but “we will wait for the right moment to do an IPO,” adding that investors including Japanese investment giant SoftBank were happy to wait. In October,
Zopa announced that it had raised $300 million in funding from SoftBank, and says that it has raised a total of $500 million to date.