Afterpay forced to change name for UK launch by Dutch rival


“With AfterPay you only pay for what you keep. Therefore: you pay afterwards!” says the company web site.

Afterpay Touch offers a payment by installment process over three weeks, and it also funds the transaction until its customers complete the payment.

Arvato’s Afterpay said it is the most popular post payment service in the Netherlands, its home base, with 4 million users on its platform.

More than 70 million online purchases were made in the Netherlands last year with spending  totalling 7.2 billion euros. Afterpay accounted for 15 per cent of these transactions.

“Afterpay is available today in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Belgium, with more markets coming soon,” said the company website.

Arvato Afterpay was approached for comment about its expansion plans. The company has held rights to the Afterpay name in the UK since February 2011.

Afterpay co-founder David Hancock. Credit:Louie Douvis

Afterpay executive director David Hancock hinted there were problems with the name last week after confirming that the company will use the name it acquired with a UK business, Clearpay, for its “imminent” launch.

“One of the reasons why we’ve done that is that there’s a number of issues that we need to deal with and the quickest way for us to get into market was to actually use the Clearpay name so that will be slightly different.”

Afterpay later told the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that its logo will provide the brand consistency across its growing operations.

“The arrow logo is the brand identification we focus on digitally and it translates across markets,” said a company spokesman.

“We’re entering the UK market as Clearpay but retaining the global Afterpay model. It’s the model that resonates most with customers and with retailers, and it’s that model we intend to replicate in the UK.”

“I don’t think the name will really present an issue,” said Harry Dudley an investment analyst with Afterpay investor Watermark Funds Management.

He said it is the service which is important.

“It’s the platform itself, it’s the simplicity of the product.”

The UK opportunity is a significant one for Afterpay. It said the UK market is worth $720 billion, with $130 billion of this online.

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By comparison, the Australian market is $320 billion with online worth just $30 billion.

Afterpay’s share price is predicated on the company replicating its success here in these larger overseas markets.

Retails sales on the Afterpay platform totalled $2.3 billion last year, with more than $2 billion coming from its home markets in Australia and New Zealand from its 2.3 million active customers.

More than 10 per cent of online sales in Australia are now funded through Afterpay and it claims to have attracted one in every four Millennials to its platform.

“The UK is a really good opportunity for us to work with very large global brands,” Mr Hancock said.

News of the UK launch drove Afterpay’s share price to record highs last week, valuing the company at more than $6.6 billion.

Its share price has risen more than 400 per cent since May last year, partly driven by the success of its launch into the US market less than a year ago.

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