- IOUpay Limited (ASX:IOU) is focused on gaining the first-mover advantage in the high-potential South East Asia market amid digital payments boom.
- The SEA market is believed to offer a great opportunity for IOU to disrupt the budding BNPL space.
- Almost 300 million of the adult population in SEA are underbanked or unbanked with limited options for credit.
- IOU has also inked several deals to enhance its BNPL offerings and broaden its reach to a greater number of customers.
IOUpay Limited (ASX:IOU) is an ASX-listed BNPL player, which envisions evolving into a leading digital transaction processor in South East Asia (SEA). The company looks to leverage the opportunities emerging in the booming cashless SEA economies.
In its latest investor presentation in March, IOU highlighted “The ‘Sweet Spot’ for BNPL is larger in SEA due to the lack of consumer credit and underbanked populations overlaid with mobile penetration levels and the ever-increasing growth in e-payments which facilitate BNPL offerings and adoption rates.”
The company is expanding its offerings across merchants as well as geographies. With shift in consumer habits, the company has been working on including new and innovative products/services into its bag of offerings and being the first mover in the industry.
IOU competitive advantages (Source: IOU Announcement 16/03/21)
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BNPL is one of the highly disruptive innovations in the fintech and digital payments space, as it offers immense growth opportunities, especially for a company like IOUpay.
Let us look at some of the factors that are expected to strengthen IOU’s position in the BNPL space.
Growing Opportunity with Behavioural Shift
In recent times, there has been a dramatic shift towards online payment solutions with increasing penetration and adoption of internet technology. In the SEA region, this transition is driving unprecedented changes in consumer behaviour, especially in the wake of COVID-19.
As of now, there are 360 million estimated internet users in the SEA region, and the internet economy is anticipated to triple to US$300 billion by 2025, from US$100 billion in 2019, as per an IOU update in March 2021.
Moreover, there is a sharp declining trend in the usage of credit cards and ATMs because of the surge in the usage of e-money to over 50% of all payment volumes.
IOU strongly believes that there lies huge growth potential for the Company across the SEA markets, which have limited credit options for consumers and a chronic supply-side shortage of consumer credit.
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Agreements to Enhance and Expand BNPL Offering
IOU has been at the forefront of innovating and evolving its offerings to match the changing needs of the consumers. IOU operates in a highly dynamic industry where consumers are moving to more convenient options of payments.
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Some of the latest agreements include merchant referral and strategic teaming agreements signed with EasyStore, iPay88, MYP1 and RMS Reloads, with large-scale merchant and customer acquisitions on agenda.
- A merchant referral agreement with EasyStore, enabling EasyStore commerce customers to use IOU’s BNPL services.
- A merchant referral agreement with iPay88, boosting the Company’s distribution footprint across Malaysia.
- A strategic teaming agreement with MYP1 for integrating with its Smart POS system. IOU expects this deal to accelerate the market penetration of its BNPL payment services across large number of merchants.
- A bill payment service agreement with RMS Reloads, which is one of the largest offline-to-online payment networks in SEA. Under this agreement, IOUpay customers would be able to make BNPL instalment payments at any merchant across RMS Reloads’ network of 10,000 plus physical points-of-presence across stores in Malaysia.
These agreements help in fast-tracking market penetration through the Company’s BNPL offering, ultimately driving BNPL transaction volumes.
Overall, IOU looks to strengthen its footprint in the SEA market and establish market leadership by capitalising on the first-mover advantage. IOU’s strategy to address the disruptive gaps in the industry reinforces its continued expansion and enhancement of its offerings.
IOU stock was trading at AUD0.285 on 1 June 2021.