BizPay is the latest Australian BNPL outfit to fold. It offered BNPL services for business-to-business invoices. There is no great mystery as regards the reason for the failure. A shortfall in cashflow and failure to attract fresh investment are again the main reasons.
As with all of the other BNPL failures this year, BizPay reported massive demand for its services. It deployed all of the usual BNPL vocabulary of buzzwords. It was seamless. It was innovative. BizPay, predictably, had ambitions to grow internationally. BizPay successfully raised capital for a time.
BizPay paid the upfront cost of an invoice. It required the SME to repay the cost of the invoice plus transaction fees over a series of fortnightly or monthly payments. Its promise was based on helping businesses to smooth their cash flow.
That all sounds fine in theory and it had grown-up backers. It was, for example, backed by Macquarie. It also spent a lot on marketing. It was not helped by rising interest rates. Then there are the credit losses. It never posted a profit.
Australia once boasted 12 listed BNPL stocks. Today, there are two. The sector has been obliterated in the past 12 months. Affirm has exited Australia. Klarna gives every appearance of throwing good money after bad in Australia. IOUpay failed. Laybuy delisted. Payright, Zebit, Splitit and Sezzle, ditto.
Meantime, only yesterday, Visa and Standard Chartered teamed up to promote BNPL across Asia Pacific and they can afford to make a go of BNPL. Amex, PayPal and the banks have the deep pockets and the scale to pursue BNPL profitability, unlike the standalone BNPL start-ups. The whole idea of the start-ups was a disaster waiting to happen from day one. It is no cause for celebration that this column said so from the start and has tracked each and every failure as it happened.
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