Also called Monthly-Bills-Pay-Later, this unique fintech offering is set to inspire similar zero-interest credit and microloan schemes regionally.
Ever heard of Buy Now Pay Later? Not something that credit-averse people would consider, and it does have the potential to cause people with poor financial discipline to get into even worse debt …
Nevertheless, for the rest of us responsible people, there is BNPL: you get to split the cost of a purchased item over a few months without incurring interest charges. This can be a useful way to enjoy first, suffer later but less painfully.
Fintechs have been gradually enabling e-commerce platforms to offer such payment options, and over time, it can be a mainstay feature that consumers expect by default.
Zero interest microloans
In an extension of the idea of facilitating short-term credit, one fintech has started to offer Monthly-Bills Pay Later (MBPL).
Basically, the service takes over the payment of monthly bills such as home loans, car instalments, university fees, heavy business expenses and other monetary obligations that can reduce liquidity when you have other urgent finances to pay for.
The fintech, convertCASH, already has over 20,000 users across Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and ASEAN, with total transactions of approximately US%1m.
According to the firm’s Group CEO and founder Jason Bak, while there are several alternative payment options for retails such as BNPL, there are none targeted squarely at monthly fixed commitments. “Our unique Pay For You First feature can help users to settle their monthly fixed bills payment if they do not have sufficient cash in bank. They can simply initiate payment via the convertCASH mobile app and enjoy free credit extension up to 45 days with no loan needed and zero interest.”
The system is connected to a licensed payment gateway—Stripe—for security and verification purposes. User data security is also a top priority, according to Bak: “On top of that, whenever they make use of the service responsibly, users can earn reward points to convert part of their monthly fixed bills into extra earnings usable locally and in some overseas countries.”
High-reward ‘salary banking’
The fintech has also announced a partnership with MasterCard to offer users a co-branded digital bank account.
Convenience is provided through a mobile application, and the account comes with a cash rebate scheme to reward savers. For example, a deposit of $500 into the digital bank account earns a user 50 convertCASH points that can be used to redeem cash vouchers on the app. Unlike standard bank accounts, no minimum balance fee, no transfer fee or hidden costs are imposed.
The real draw is a scheme that encourages users to deposit their salaries into the system monthly, by offering 10% convertCASH reward points. So, each $3,000 salary deposit earns $300 worth of convertCASH loyalty points. Additionally, users can have multiple currency wallets and the ability to transfer money across multiple countries instantly.
Bak added: “Our mobile application also boasts features such as bill payment tracking, cash flow management charts, a cost & earning calculator, and credit scoring membership. This is to help users plan and organize their cash flow with the integration of the Internet economy and traditional economy.”