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Revolut joins heated competition to win cut of Europe’s booming BNPL market

The news: Revolut began rolling out its buy now, pay later (BNPL) product across Europe, starting with Ireland, per the Independent.

Here’s how it works: Revolut Pay Later doesn’t require a partnership between retailers and the neobank; it’s integrated into the cards section of Revolut’s app.

  • The BNPL product lets users make online and in-store purchases of up to €499 ($590) across three installments, with a 1.65% fee charged for the final two installments.
  • Revolut hinted at its BNPL expansion last year. The neobank will launch the product in other markets later this year, starting with Poland and Romania.

Trendspotting: In Europe, BNPL growth is surging. The payment method is expected to make up 13.6% of transactions in the region by 2024, up from 7.4% in 2020, per FIS.

Challenger banks, incumbents, and Big Tech firms are piling in to grab a slice of the lucrative market:

  • Apple launched a BNPL program with Mastercard while Goldman Sachs is acting as the technical issuer of the loans. Apple Pay Later will first be available in the US—but expansion to Europe would be a logical next step.
  • High street banks including NatWest and Santander are exploring the space.
  • And payments heavyweights like Klarna, PayPal, and Afterpay are jostling for European market share.

Will it succeed? BNPL could be a massive market opportunity if Revolut can harness its large and engaged customer base.

  • The challenger bank’s strong digital capabilities and slick app can set it apart from banking competitors operating in the space.
  • Pay Later could boost customer engagement and loyalty as they spend more time on the app running up, paying off, and monitoring balances. It could also appeal to users who want the simplicity of having all their financial services on one easy-to-use app.
  • But Revolut will have to contend with Europe’s highly competitive BNPL landscape if it’s going to make Pay Later a useful arrow in the super app’s quiver of financial services.