Zilch launches in the US

Zilch, the UK-based Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) provider is launching into the US market.

The FinTech, which will base its US operations out of a new headquarters in Miami, is launching with over 150,000 pre-registered customers, the company said.

The move comes after rapid growth for the company, which has acquired over 2 million customers since it launched in the UK in 2020.

Zilch has so far raised $400 million in debt and equity from Goldman Sachs and others, placing its valuation at over $2 billion at the time of its Series C funding round.

The company's pay by installments feature can be used everywhere that Mastercard is accepted, equating to 38.7 million retailers globally.

To support the US expansion and operations, Zilch has opened the Miami headquarters which will be led by Zilch’s US chief executive Albert Periu.

Zilch believes the US market for the company’s services could reach as many as 125 million people, and expects to hire over 100 employees in the US within the next year.

Zilch uses Open Banking technology combined with soft credit checks and its own proprietary behavioral data each time a customer spends, which enables the company to create a full picture of a customer’s affordability profile, and provide accurate, individualized spending recommendations, Zilch said in statement.

Concurrent with its US launch, Zilch is partnering with Experian to pioneer reciprocal reporting of payment plans to the credit reporting agency’s (CRA’s) data set.

This is designed to help ensure consumers' financial health by allowing them to build credit scores and adding a check on affordability.

Philip Belamant, chief executive & founder of Zilch said: “In 2020, US consumers paid $120 billion in fees and late charges to credit cards, which we believe is unacceptable and fundamentally misaligned with the interests of consumers.

“They are being set up to fail and need more flexibility, especially during a cost of living crisis and a time of surging inflation, to pay for goods and services how and when they want – with a system that avoids late payments and unnecessary, onerous fees.”

Zilch customers can pay over six weeks, in four installments, or in one lump sum.

“Our experience in the UK, and the survey we conducted here in the US, make it clear that US consumers want much more from BNPL providers, what we call BNPL 2.0 – which removes what consumers dislike (lack of ubiquity/fees and/or late charges). Zilch also gives what consumers say they value - cash back, which can be used to discount larger purchases,” Belamant added.

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