Buy now, pay later offering for higher value goods aims to win the business of Australian merchants

‘Buy-now/pay-later’ has been the breakthrough new service category of the Australian payments industry, with Roy Morgan research estimating more than 1.5 million Australians used one of the many services in 2018.

Growth in the category shows no signs of slowing, despite it attracting the interest of parliament and the corporate regulator ASIC. The scale of the opportunity has seen numerous new services pile in after the initial success of market leader Afterpay, with even the global credit scheme Visa announcing it will be getting in on the action.

But with so many players all vying for consumers’ attention, and with Afterpay having become synonymous in the minds of many consumers when it comes to pay-later transactions, how can any new entrant hope to create a lasting impression on the minds of consumers?

For Melbourne-born company, Payright, however, consumers are not the number one target. Payright was founded in 2016 by brothers, Piers and Myles Redward, and unlike the relatively low-value transactions that typify Afterpay and its competitors, Payright is targeting the market for high consideration sales from between $1000 to $20,000 in value.

According to joint-CEO, Piers Redward, that pitches Payright at a very different class of products and services. As a result, the company’s brand strategy at this time is inclined towards wining over merchants rather than consumers.

“From the merchant’s perspective, it provides them with the opportunity to be able to potentially obtain a sale they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to obtain,” Redward says. “That is key to us because we are all about increasing value to our merchants.”

Hence the company’s marketing focus has been highly targeted at reaching potential merchant partners in fields such as home improvement, photography, education and health and wellbeing.  The company recently relaunched its brand strategy to reflect its tightened focus and has been rolling out a series of highly targeted digital campaigns.

“We have evolved it from what we thought was more of a corporate-type image into something a lot more reflective of our merchant partners and our key ethos of ‘making easy happen’,” Redward says.

The goal now is to work closely with merchant partners to better understand what they and their clients want.

“By partnering and getting very close to our merchants in a consulting and collaborative manner we can better service their end consumers, who are ultimately our end consumers, which is a different approach to what we see elsewhere,” he says.

“We also leverage off our internal systems to better understand patterns of the end consumer or patterns of our partners, to give us various insights into what they want. To be successful it is not just enough to learn who your customers or partners are. You need to learn their behaviours, their motivations and their intent.”

Redward says he is not daunted by the amount of noise being created by new competitors, as he estimates the overall marketplace to be worth more than $300 billion, with less than 10 per cent accounted for to date.

“We are quite some way we feel from a saturation point,” Redward says. “There is not just an awareness that buy now pay later exists, there is an expectation that people can pay using a category like that. And if Afterpay has set the tone from the end consumer perspective, that has helped grow the whole category.”

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