As one of the biggest players in Britain’s BNPL finance sector, Zilch is one of the only companies to start seeking a fully regulated status as a BNPL by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In 2020, it achieved consumer credit authorization from the FCA, being the first UK BNPL firm to be fully licensed due to the difficult regulatory process.
Zilch announces new deal
Zilch’s Series B takes their funding total over $200 million as a result of the recent announcement of a deal with Goldman Sachs’ asset management branch and DMG Ventures including $110 million in debt and equity for Zilch. This successful capital injection clearly shows the heightened demand for BNPL products during a time when regulatory demands are increasingly scrutinized.
With the second round of funding, Zilch plans to launch in the US while growing its current UK operations.
Zilch currently has over 700,000 customers and has brought new features to the BNPL world. The Tap & Pay feature allows customers to tap a connected Zilch card to the card reader and immediately establish the spread-out payments that pull from their account over a six-week period as bi-weekly installments.
New payment options
Zilch sets itself apart with a card that is accepted as a payment option anywhere that MasterCard is allowed. It is able to be used in thousands of stores. Zilch is working to improve the options for smarter payment plans than traditional credit lines currently offer. Customers who need or want to make a purchase, but don’t yet have the funds, are able to choose when they buy and make installment payments to spread that expense over a longer period of time. This opens the door to a whole host of options for people who want to be able to manage their money in a smarter way.
Philip Belamant is CEO and Founder of Zilch. “As our customer numbers continue to grow, we’ve taken the decision to raise additional capital to service this phenomenal demand,” he said in a statement. “We’re delighted that well-respected institutions, such as Goldman Sachs and DMG Ventures, share our vision of what credit should be in today’s world and how that can be delivered directly to customers in the most responsible way.”
Goldman only backs the best in the business, like Apple. So, the backing of this small business from the UK may catch some by surprise. For those that are intimately familiar with Zilch, the answer may be clear—Zilch is poised to be one of the best.
One of the biggest concerns for the BNPL fintech is that it offers an affordable credit solution that improves the flexibility and control of personal finance. In 2020, Belamant explained, “We really feel like between out open banking integration, the way we’re doing affordability and interacting with the regulator, we really feel like we are providing the most responsible way to pay over time …we’ve been working with the FCA on affordability. How we’re assessing it and how we’re tracking it.”
Soft credit checks
Part of the Zilch process is using soft credit checks to look into the customer’s ability to pay and financial status. Zilch wants customers to be successful, not rack up debt. The goal is to have flexibility in payments, so the company looks carefully at how affordable lines of credit would be for each individual.
The company also works to create direct relationships with customers, offering customer service that goes above and beyond the norm of the industry. The Zilch team currently promises to respond to most inquires within five business hours, often beating that time to support their customers in the best way they can.
The BNPL payment approach is gaining speed throughout the world.
BNPL sector expanding rapidly
Predictions include expectations that the BNPL sector could continue to see double-digit expansion like the rates of 29 percent growth it experienced in year-on-year for 2020. Some experts believe BNPL could be responsible for 10 percent of all UK eCommerce by 2024. The UK currently is the third-largest market for online transactions, following China and the US. Japan, Germany and France are close behind in their own numbers of online transactions.
About Philip Belamant
As the Founder and CEO of Zilch, Philip Belamant has already started and successfully exited two other fintech companies. His first company was started after winning Microsoft’s Project Firefly competition with AI and biometric technology. He has spent 16 years in payments and technology industries, including launching mobile payment and value-added services in 15 countries throughout Africa.
Belamant was the creator of the first Cash-to-MasterCard payment solution for UBER in South Africa. He also launched virtual card technology throughout Spain, Mexico, USA, India and South Africa, working with MobiKwik and Visa to support over 50 million users.
The BNPL company Zilch was established by Philip Belamant to offer something unique in the finance world. Not only does the company help spread out payments for greater control of expenses, it offers a MasterCard-backed card that is convenient for in-store purchases. A 0% interest rate over the course of the payments allows Zilch customers to determine the use of their money without being bound to their paydays.
As a cash flow tool, users can make all their payments from one place and avoid juggling a number of different balances and interest fees. The innovative approach of Zilch is designed to put customers first and improve affordability.
Quarterly growth has exceeded 120%, with monthly registrations at 20,000 for invited applicants.
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