The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Industry has been steadily growing in the country. The key service offered by the industry aims at providing consumers with the ability to purchase goods on credit.
Recent growth in e-commerce in addition to the Kenyan consumer’s appetite for flexible and affordable payment options has helped accelerate the growth of the BNPL eco system in the country.
According to Business Wire, BNPL payments are expected to grow by 23.2% on an annual basis to reach US$1,056.6 million in 2023. In line with this, the Kenyan BNPL Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) will increase from US$857.7 million in 2022 to reach US$1,881.7 million by 2028.
Here are some companies and startups offering Buy Now Pay Later services in Kenya:
M-KOPA has long been a market leader in the Green Energy space.
Founded in 2010, M-KOPA started as a retailer of solar-powered products incorporating the “pay as you go” model. M-KOPA Solar targeted low-income homes that were not connected to the national power grid providing affordable and flexible payments for solar panels. The credit firm also ventured into financing other products and services in partnership with both local and global companies ranging from electric motorcycles, mobile devices, medical cover, and even cash loans.
The fintech recently raised $ 250 million in funding to expand its operations in new markets and extend its “financed product set”.
M-KOPA currently has over 3 million customers in Africa with over $ 3 billion deployed in product and credit financing.
With over 500 partners in the country, Lipa Later is a key player in the BNPL space in Kenya. The startup raised $12 million in funding last year. The company said the funds would help solidify its position in the current markets (Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda) as well as help expand in new markets in Africa.
Lipa Later allows users to purchase commodities from over 500 shops on credit with affordable and flexible monthly installments. Customers have access to credit of up to KES. 500,000 with repayments periods ranging from 2, 3 or 6 months.
To access the services, you will have to apply for an account at Lipa Later. After signing up, you will get your credit limit. The company’s quick rating system allows customers to get their credit limit approved in seconds without requiring a long and tedious approval process.
Aspira is another key player in Kenya’s product financing ecosystem with over 1 billion financed since 2017. The company has partnered with over 500 top brands offering financing for different products and services ranging from furniture to electronic devices, construction materials, and even education loans.
Aspira offers credit limits ranging from KES. 10, 000 to KES. 500, 000 with no securities or collateral required. No guarantors are required to access the credit. The company allows flexible monthly repayment periods between 3 and 12 months. Additionally, you can get up to 24 months for furniture purchases only.
FlexPay Lipia Pole Pole
Different from other Buy Now Pay Later models (offering credit first and allowing repayment installments), FlexPay “Lipia PolePole” offers a flexible payment solution allowing a customer to save at their own pace for purchases from reputable brands. This is more of a “Save Now, Pay Later” experience.
Lipia PolePole also offers open goals and group savings features allowing individuals to make their dream purchases through gradual savings. This service allows customers to split up their purchases into smaller and more manageable payments without incurring any additional costs.
FlexPay has partnered with various local retailers in the country. To access this service, simply create an account at FlexPay and start saving towards your goal.
According to the company, they seek to “transform the financial landscape, providing a solution that is accessible, flexible, and promotes responsible spending habits.” different from the credit-driven BNPL solution.
Faraja by Safaricom and EDOMx
This is one of two of the latest player in the BNPL space. Faraja Buy Now Pay Later is a product offered by Safaricom in partnership with EDOMx. The service allows M-PESA customers to buy commodities on credit from businesses on Lipa na M-PESA.
Faraja allows customers to make purchases between KES. 20 and KES 100,000 at zero interest and complete the payment in 30 days. Customers can purchase multiple items simultaneously as long as they are within their assigned credit limits.
To access the service at businesses that offer Faraja, dial *799# to opt-in or make a payment. You can also select the Faraja mini-app on the M-PESA Super App.
Businesses on Lipa Na M-PESA can opt into Faraja through the Faraja portal or by contacting EDOMx. Businesses on Faraja receive payment in full once a customer purchase through the service. Currently, the service is available across all Naivas outlets, Goodlife pharmacies, and City Walk amongst other merchants.
SpotIt by Craft Silicon
Craft Silicon, the tech company behind the ride-hailing app, Little recently launched their own BNPL platform called SpotIt. SpotIt has entered the market recently together with Safaricom’s Faraja.
This product will differ from existing providers by having three stakeholders: the customer, the merchant and the bank.
SpotIt has partnered with merchants across the country and will also include e-commerce merchants in their platform. Eligible customers can access the service through the mini-app integrated with banking apps.
The company has promised a smooth onboarding process by removing the long sign-up process and eliminating bulky document processing.
With retailers and many organizations digitizing their offerings, the full potential of BNPL solutions is yet to be seen. However, there is a need to develop and advocate for responsible spending habits.