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With the new service, Santander will offer customers the opportunity of paying interest-free installments within seconds.
Spanish multinational financial services Santander Group is launching a “buy now pay later” platform called Zinia. The company plans to roll out the service in Europe, starting with the Spain and Netherlands markets. Buy now pay later services gained popularity during the coronavirus pandemic as e-commerce accelerated. Many began to adopt the service, and it got attention from regulators who showed concerns that young people especially may run into excessive indebtedness with this fast-exploding service.
While announcing Zinia on the 26th of January, Santander said that the technology behind the platform has been operating in Germany for the past year. Since its operation, the technology has garnered over two million customers. Santander is now leveraging its position in Consumer finance in rolling out Zinia.
Santander Announces Zinia
With the buy now pay later service Zinia, Santander will offer customers the opportunity of paying interest-free installments within seconds. Customers may either make payments online or at a physical point of sale. In addition, Zinia users will have access to exclusive offers and other financial alternatives available in the Zinia app. Furthermore, Zinia will allow all merchants partnering with Santander to provide their customers with a fast and secure payment option. This way, merchants will be able to improve the customer experience while enjoying an increase in sales.
Ezequiel Szafir, the CEO of Openbank and Santander Consumer Finance, stated:
“Today we are launching a new platform that offers consumers a convenient and flexible payment option with the security and trust provided by a large financial group like Santander. We are delighted with Zinia’s early expansion and aim to become a leader in the buy now, pay later market.”
Santander’s Digital Consumer Bank (DCB), which is a combination of Santander Consumer Finance (SCF) and Openbank, collaboratively developed Zina as their first project. SCF is an established bank, expanding across 16 European countries, Canada, and the US. The bank caters for over 19 million and 130,000 points of sale. On the other hand, Openbank is Santander’s digital bank, and it has a variety of financial products as well as its own digital platform. SCF and Openbank’s unique features make DCB “one of the largest digital consumer finance banks in the world.”
Buy now pay later programs have gained more popularity in the past couple of years. Major financial service provider Block (NYSE: SQ) acquired Australia’s Afterpay for $29 billion. Block made the purchase last August as it attempted to expand into the growing loan market.