Mastercard and Pine Labs to expand “pay later” instalment solution to five Southeast Asian markets in early 2021

Mastercard and Pine Labs will launch their integrated “pay later” solution in five Southeast Asian markets early next year to offer consumers the flexibility of zero-interest instalments on purchases, expand business for merchants and connect banks, fintechs, payment gateways and device makers to a rapidly growing financing alternative.

By combining the expertise and technology assets of Mastercard and Pine Labs, one of Asia’s leading merchant commerce platforms, the expansion adds to their existing “pay later” partnership in India and Malaysia that started in early 2020. The solution will be rolled out in Thailand and the Philippines in February, followed shortly by Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.

With its fast-rising and digital middle class – plus more than half of the world’s consumer borrowing – the Asia Pacific region presents major opportunities for merchants, fintechs and lenders that offer shoppers the flexibility and convenience of spacing out payments on TV sets, appliances and other bigger ticket items. Mastercard research shows 43% of consumers in the region would be willing to increase spending by at least 15% if they were to pay in instalments.

Card-linked instalments are common on credit cards across Southeast Asia but the Mastercard and Pine Labs solution is much broader by enabling instalments via credit cards, debit cards and bank accounts across in-store and online merchants. Lenders and merchants benefit from the simplicity of a single access point into an instalments network that is easy to integrate and quick to scale.

“The ‘pay later’ option gives consumers the flexibility to manage their cash flow better by offering them the choice to pay in instalments at the point of sale. For merchants, being able to offer instalments at checkout directly influences consumer buying behavior that leads to an increase in the average ticket size, reduces cart abandonment and results in higher sales,” said Sandeep Malhotra, Executive Vice President, Products & Innovation, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.

“Instalment options complement Mastercard’s wide range of payment programs and align completely with Mastercard’s mission of fostering an integrated, inclusive digital economy and delivering great checkout experiences with payments that are secure, simple and smart.”

The global “pay later” market is expected to grow from $7.3 billion in 2019 to $33.6 billion in 2027 at an annual rate of more than 21 percent, according to a study by Coherent Market Insights. The market intelligence and consulting group sees Asia Pacific as the fastest-growing region.

“Together with Mastercard, we are opening new and innovative ways for consumers to decide how they shop and pay while empowering merchants, banks and other lenders to join this growing trend of consumer financing at checkout that has become even more popular during COVID-19,” said B. Amrish Rau, CEO of Pine Labs.

“With our expertise in the ‘pay later’ space combined with Mastercard’s global presence and technology infrastructure, we are bringing to life an omni-channel solution that is easy to enable for all the participants and fast to scale. “

In January this year, Mastercard also made an investment in Pine Labs, which processes more than US$30 billion of payments per year, serves about 150,000 merchants across 450,000 network points in South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East and works closely with lenders and merchants to design and deliver the financing at checkout to consumers.

By providing the choice to pay in instalments at checkout, this partnership offers enormous potential for merchants, brand owners and financial institutions to drive payment innovations for consumers.

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