Over the course of the last two years, Pakistan’s eCommerce marketplace has hit a major growth spurt, with reported revenue growth of over 35 percent in the first quarter of the financial year 2021 alone. Additionally, the younger demographic i.e. 40 percent of the population being under the age of 30 is also one of the major contributing factors. On top of that, the increased access to digitization with even rural areas having 3G at this point – has served to give commerce a massive shove forward.
The country’s growing inclination towards eCommerce has bought about a rise in BNPL(Buy Now Pay Later) services. How, you ask? Well, thanks to a series of fintech startups coming to the table as payment platforms and partnering with leading e-commerce retailers to offer interest-free credit at checkout.
BNPL is a ‘during purchase’ payment option which is predominantly present in eCommerce. Other consumer credit options include PoS finance, and revolving credit cards. PoS finance is typically initiated in-store when purchasing electronics and household goods, and such solutions have historically had socioeconomic status around them.
But what Pakistan has always lacked in this entire discussion of financial liberties, is an easy way to access credit. In a country where credit card penetration is low, and cash remains king when it comes to making payments, the market clearly needed another option and this is where QisstPay comes in.
QisstPay is an easy solution for the masses. To put it simply, it’s the Pakistani version of BNPL that aims to offer as it introduces buy now, pay later (BNPL) as a tool for the Pakistani market. The revolving credit card is perhaps most under threat from BNPL, as of now.
What is QisstPay?
QisstPay is an instalment payment service for emerging markets. The startup addresses the lack of flexibility, integration, and the hidden fees currently plaguing Pakistan’s payments landscape by giving customers an efficient, adaptable and interest-free platform. When chosen at checkout, QisstPay allows customers to pay for their purchase in instalments with 0% interest and no late fees.
The service allows Pakistanis to pay for everyday necessities, effectively building better cash management in what is otherwise considered a very cash-driven society.
According to reports, the startup has been growing rapidly and has seen a 92% growth rate week to week. Presently, they serve over 500 retailers in Pakistan, including the likes of Samsung, Camelbak, Diesel, Philips, Xiaomi, and Lenovo including regional leaders such as Sapphire, Uniworth, Logo Shoes, and ELO.
What makes QisstPay unique is its business model. While the concept is not new to Pakistani consumers, the business model has never been tapped into before. It’s like the Pakistani dream come true. While previously, consumers could obtain instalment plans from certain merchants such plans included interest, ultimately increasing the cost of the product for the consumer.
QisstPay, on the other hand, charges merchants for these services, which results in increased sales due to instalment plans. While the only penalty a customer has is that QisstPay blocks the defaulters’ account, and he would not be able to make any more purchases unless his outstanding balance is cleared.
Background of founders
Jordan graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration. After that, he completed his MBA from the University of North Texas. He’s been part of the services industry for over a decade now and has a diverse experience in different domains.
It was this experience that prompted him to launch QisstPay alongside his colleague in 2021.
Syed Saad Ahmed
Saad graduated from Comsats in 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Computer Software Engineering. He started his career at Invictus Zone as a Backend Developer. He has served in multiple front and backend development roles over the course of the last few years. Then finally, in 2021 he co-founded QisstPay alongside Jordan.
The majority of people in Pakistan don’t have the financial background to get approved for credit cards and therefore rely on QisstPay to help them manage their day-to-day expenses. QisstPay helps address this by letting people buy the things they actually need and pay for them gradually over time.
What basically QisstPay offers is an instalment payment service, that responds to this problem by enabling consumers to pay for their purchases in four instalments without having to pay interest or worry about late fees. Purchases of between 1,500 and 500,000 PKR (approximately $9 to $3,000 USD) are eligible, and consumers can use both debit and credit cards to make their repayments. The company has also shared that it plans to enable repayment via digital wallet soon.
Pre-Seed Round: Secured $15 million
The round was led by MSA Capital with institutional investment participation from other investors including:
- Global Founders Capital
- Fox Ventures
- First Check Ventures
- With a series of strategic angel investments from Simone Mancini and Johnny Mitrevski, Co-Founders of Scalapay
- Ashley Davies, former CFO of Venmo and current Sylp CFO; former C Suite at Affirm; Adam Mawdesley, VP of Partnerships & Product at Splitit; and United Bank Limited of Pakistan.
Seed Round: Secured $15 million
In October 2021, the startup announced that it had raised $15 million in seed and pre-seed rounds through a mix of equity and debt.
QisstPay intends to use the proceeds from its funding rounds to expand its services, which include transaction funding and partnerships with traditional Pakistani financial institutions, as well as its team. Additionally, they are also expanding their services to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The power of a service like QisstPay isn’t just about driving higher average order values and better conversions, but they aim to offer up a service that makes it easier for consumers to get what they want and need, and easier for merchants to grow their businesses by supplying it.
By providing a manageable way for consumers to borrow and repay with the interest (where applicable) built into the repayment plan with a fixed-end date, Qisstpay is providing consumers more assurance that they can repay without falling into a revolving credit repayment.