Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Home Tech News Interview: Meet Philip Belamant, CEO and founder of Zilch, the BNPL Klarna...

Interview: Meet Philip Belamant, CEO and founder of Zilch, the BNPL Klarna rival from UK

The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) market is currently a £2.7 billion market in the UK, as per a review by the Financial Conduct Authority. While Klarna and Afterpay are credited for pioneering the BNPL trend, London-based Zilch is trying to define the sector in the UK. It also recently passed its 1 million customer milestone. In an interview with UKTN, the company’s CEO and founder, Philip Belamant, reveals more about the company, it’s future plans and more. 

1 million customers 

Zilch just announced its 1 millionth customer, which is a notable milestone for the company, that exited beta 13 months ago. The startup shows between 2-5X year-on-year growth rate over its industry peers, including its rivals in the US. Zilch also recently surpassed $140M in sales. 

“Traditional credit cards come with limits that aren’t linked to a customer’s ability to repay, in fact, the model incentivises providers to facilitate borrowing that leads to interest charges and late payment fees,” says Belamant. “At Zilch, our BNPL model only works if customers are able to repay what they borrow. We’ve built a completely transparent alternative in consumer credit around structured repayment plans, zero interest and no hidden fees.”

Additionally, diverging from the credit card models, which monetise late fees and interest, Zilch makes fixed fees per transaction from the retailer including affiliate commissions and advertising. This means that the company makes better money when their customers pay on time and it takes steps such as personalised lending caps and proactive repayment reminders to help customers with affordability.

Big names to jump in the BNPL sector?

Recent rumours suggest that some established fintechs such as Monzo and Revolut are planning to enter the BNPL segment. If this comes to pass, with new players, the space is bound to get competitive. However, Zilch founder believes that new players rumoured to enter the BNPL space only signifies this segment’s continued growth. 

“As new household brands join BNPL, the likes of Paypal, Square, Revolut or Monzo will quickly find simple brand recognition alone or division of payments by 3 or 4 isn’t enough to inspire consumer confidence. What matters is how you make BNPL a product, rather than just an add-on feature to a bank card or app,” Belamant notes. 

The startup also welcomes the possible healthy rivalry that may arise from new players entering the sector. Adding to it, while the new competitors might come up with custom solutions, Zilch is merchant agnostic and enables its customers to shop anywhere Mastercard is accepted. We’re also one of the only BNPL providers to use Open Banking alongside soft credit checks, which have no impact on credit rating. 

US launch nears

Zilch also acquired NepFin in the US and it is now a tech-enabled direct lender with a banking license. “we’re on a fast-track to launch in the US market early next year. NepFin founder Albert Periu is now our CEO in the US, a huge asset to our plans to launch and scale quickly across the market.,” Belamant concludes.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

IMF projects rosier global economic outlook for 2023, expects inflation to ease

The outlook for the global economy is growing slightly brighter as China eases its zero-COVID policies and the world shows surprising resilience in the...

Here’s a last unofficial look at the Galaxy S23 series before the event, as a treat

/ Photos of all three phones have leaked ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S23’s launch event on Wednesday.The Galaxy S23, S23 Plus, and...

VPD officer who died by suicide worried ‘rumour mill’ would destroy her career, inquest hears

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details and may not be suitable for all readers. Discretion is advised. VPD Sgt. Corey Bech, a friend and mentor...

Morrissey, Scheifele each score twice in the third as Jets rally to beat Blues 4-2

For a healthy chunk of the Winnipeg Jets tilt with the St. Louis Blues Monday night, it looked like they were destined for a...