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Thursday December 9th, 2021

Buy Now Pay Later: helping sellers make goods more accessible to consumers

Rakhil Fernando, Managing Director of Daraz

We are in 2021 and banks still take several days to approve a credit card or a small loan. Koko, a buy now pay later platform incubated by e-commerce giant Daraz, is building capabilities to achieve credit approvals in a matter of seconds, including customer due diligence. Daraz Managing Director Rakhil Fernando says with Koko they are solving the problem of delivering credit to those who are creditworthy, faster.

Koko is an all-in-one shopping app that allows customers to buy now and pay later. Can you tell us more about Koko and the benefits and features that make it a unique offering?

In a nutshell, Koko is a ‘buy now, pay later’ app that lets shoppers pay for purchases in three interest-free instalments over 60 days using a debit or credit card. Traditionally, instalment plans have only been available to those with credit cards which works out to a small percentage of the population. With Koko, even with a debit card, three instalments are now a reality.

Unlike traditional easy payment schemes, Koko does not hold the full value of a purchase from a shopper’s debit or credit card. Customers also get instant approval to a spending limit, so that they can start shopping immediately.

Having partnered with over 300 merchants, Koko offers three ways to shop; online, in-store, and via social media.

How do merchants benefit from signing up to sell goods on Koko?

The key benefit for merchants is the ability to offer their customers a safe and flexible payment plan and a potential sales uplift. The ability to pay in three interest free instalments, increases the likelihood of transactions.

It’s also entirely risk free for merchants as Koko takes full responsibility for collection and fraud risk. Merchants are paid in full, in bi-weekly payment cycles. Integration is hassle-free with equal opportunity for online, offline, and social media merchants. Additionally, merchants also get dedicated marketing and technical support from our teams.

When was Koko launched, and how has the platform performed since?

Since the beta launch, we’ve made significant strides in customer and merchant acquisition. We now have a month-onmonth growth rate of 200% for customer registrations and sales. We have onboarded over 300 leading brands from various industries such as electronics, fashion, fitness and, lifestyle.

Can you take us through the steps customers need to follow to use Koko?

To get started with Koko, a customer must first download the Koko App and register an account, which takes only a couple of minutes. Customers will then land on the shopping tab where they can browse available merchants.

Before purchasing a customer should link their debit or credit card at the My Koko section of the app. They can also view their approved spending limit which determines how much a customer may spend with Koko. To grow the spending limit, they may upload their NIC, most recent salary slip and a utility bill.

Customers can select a merchant they wish to purchase from and choose to pay with Koko at online checkout or via social media messaging. The first instalment is charged at the time of purchase and the remaining can be paid over two months. Customers can view their purchase history and ongoing dues on the purchases section of the app.

How is Koko shaping online payments in Sri Lanka?

Financial inclusivity and responsible spending are core values of our business. Our eligibility assessment and soft credit search are a safeguard for customers from overspending. We make sure customers can comfortably repay. Our proprietary decision engine also relies on non-traditional data to provide credit to users. No longer do you need to have CRIB scores to purchase products on instalments.

Instalment payments give consumers flexibility and convenience to manage their cash flow. It also boosts the trust between retailers and consumers, resulting in incremental sales, higher average purchase sizes, and higher frequency of purchase.

Retailers offload credit risk to Koko while benefiting from fewer abandoned shopping carts and higher order values. Koko provides the ability for merchants to add value to customers in the e-commerce and retail industry at a time when they need it most.

We plan to launch Koko in other markets soon including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal.