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Spotlight: Accessible and Flexible BNPL for Everyone

The pandemic catalysed digital adoption in every sector with every age demographic – bridging the generational divide. But consumers are not the only ones having to adapt to the digital revolution: merchants must also look to adapt to cater to as big a customer pool as possible. When it comes to payments, merchants must be as flexible as possible to tailor to their customers, and with the growing buy now pay later (BNPL) boom, flexible BNPL is a must.

Mike Dawson, CEO of Deko
Mike Dawson, CEO of Deko

Deko is a company tackling the obstacles facing BNPL’s adoption by looking to help both customers and merchants. For its customers, its platform lets them apply for finance quickly and easily and gives them access to its panel of lenders. Combined with smart technology, this ensures as many people are accepted for finance as possible. For retailers, Deko believes finance is a proven way to increase sales, boost average order values and give customers what they want. Its multi-lender platform matches the right consumer with the right lender in seconds: conversion-optimised to maximise sales, its platform can also be integrated at the point of sale in any sales channel – online, mobile, in store or on the phone.

We spoke to Deko’s CEO, Mike Dawson to understand why flexible payment options are so crucial, and how tailoring them to customer’s needs will see less cart abandonment:

Tell me more about your company.

Deko is a BNPL platform that helps consumers buy more of the things they love. Our unique multi-lender, multi-product aggregation solution allows merchants to provide fast and seamless access to a range of finance options at the point of sale. Unlike other providers, our offering covers a variety of basket sizes from anywhere between £25 and £25,000, making it easier for merchants to convert baskets from small to large in their checkout. All of this means that our solution works for everyone, whether a retailer or a consumer.

Why has BNPL become so popular?

BNPL provides flexibility for customers to buy more of the things they love. Figures show that consumers are leaving behind high-interest credit cards and increasingly looking towards retail finance options as a simpler and more flexible way to buy. This also benefits merchants who are looking to make the shopping experience as intuitive and seamless as possible in order to maximise sales.

Who are the consumers using BNPL and for what?

Research shows that almost two thirds of Gen Z and Millennials in the UK have used BNPL. However, this is a constantly changing picture, as people of all ages are starting to see the benefits of buy now pay later and the flexibility it provides. Around 31 per cent of Gen X said they had used BNPL in 2021, which shows that the generational divide is narrowing somewhat.

Typical purchases include fashion and electronics, but this is changing too. A multi-lender model, such as Deko’s, will diversify the range of products and basket sizes accessible through BNPL. As a result, a much broader variety of sectors, merchants and consumers will be able to benefit from this.

What are some of the challenges e-commerce sites are facing right now?

The biggest challenge is basket abandonment. One recent study found that the rate of basket abandonment among mobile shoppers in 2021 was 83 per cent. That’s more than four in every five customers failing to complete their desired purchases, meaning that millions of pounds worth of sales are lost every year.

Another challenge is customer experience and standing out in a very crowded online market. A tailored and personalised shopping journey is crucial to retaining and winning new customers. This is actually intimately connected with basket abandonment, as the checkout process is key in making customer experience the best it can be.

How can BNPL help solve these challenges?

BNPL options can reduce cart abandonment because they empower customers to access a greater range of products and services. This can make a real difference in people’s lives, especially at times when household budgets are squeezed. And at a time when cost of living is increasing by 10 per cent per year, affordability is a big consideration and so having access to longer duration offers helps reduce the monthly finance costs for consumers.

Deko also provides a rapid and confidential ‘Will I Qualify’ check across a number of our products. This ensures that shoppers are completely aware of their options ahead of checkout and whether they will be accepted for the product in their basket. These tools are effective in converting sales, and our multi-lender solution helps improve a merchant’s checkout acceptance rate by an average of 24 per cent.

Tools like this will ensure that BNPL works for everyone. Consumers will be able to buy more of the things they love, and merchants will be able to secure the sales they need.

Do BNPL products and services need to evolve?

Certainly. A number of BNPL providers are restricted to a one-size-fits-all model, which can be inflexible and won’t convert across a range of basket sizes. We need to move away from this system to ensure that BNPL can work for everyone. Secondly, a lot of merchants worry about integration and the possible disruption to business while onboarding a retail finance provider.

Deko solves both of these issues. Our multi-lender, multi-product platform can cover a much wider range of basket sizes. We provide immediate access to a marketplace of lenders with different risk appetites. As a result, we can serve a broad range of sectors and basket types.

In addition, integrating with Deko can be done in as little as 24 hours.

What will be the future of BNPL?

BNPL is here to stay. It has become an important and valuable part of the payments ecosystem. However, we are undoubtedly moving towards a more regulated market and with this will come greater consideration for merchants and consumers. Deko’s multi-lender aggregation model solves the majority of this through one product and provider.

This will be the key to making sure that BNPL can work for everyone. For customers, it delivers a seamless ecommerce experience, which will reduce basket abandonment. For merchants, it is a single, quick integration process that will unlock more sales.

Expanding retail finance into other sectors is also vital. There are still far too few options for businesses outside fashion and other fast-moving consumer goods.

Final thoughts?

We want to change the way that BNPL works. The current one-size-fits-all approach excludes whole swathes of merchants and customers from feeling the benefit of retail finance.

Retail businesses of all shapes and sizes are the bedrock of our economy. At Deko, we want to make sure that they are all served with finance products which deliver maximum rewards.

Author

  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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