Kiwi retailers of all kinds have seen an influx of customer demand for new buy-now-pay-later systems over the last 12 months. Their popularity is such that Oxipay’s customer numbers are doubling every six weeks. Now, Oxipay has partnered with one of New Zealand’s best-known retail chains – Farmers.
Farmers joined Oxipay’s stable of approximately 350 retailers in April, and initially offered the innovative payment solution online for purchases up to $1000. It will roll out in store nationwide later this year.
Michael Power, acting chief executive officer for Farmers, said at the time of launch that the introduction of Oxipay as an alternative way to pay was one of the ways Farmers is reinventing the retail experience for its customers and expanding into new markets.
“More and more consumers are looking for options and flexibility across every touch-point in the retail environment including different ways to pay at point-of-sale – and instalment payment products like Oxipay are now part of a suite of payment options consumers expect to see.”
Oxipay itself was launched in late 2017 by Q Card and Farmers Finance Card owner FlexiGroup New Zealand. It allows participating shoppers to spread their cost of purchase across four interest-free fortnightly payments. The retailer receives the full payment immediately, and the shopper is sent their goods right away.
This system particularly appeals to young women. Shoppers aged 18-32 make up 68 percent of Oxipay users, and around the same percentage is female. Oxipay’s top retail categories are technology; beauty; furniture; home appliances; fashion and furniture.
Chris Lamers, chief executive of FlexiGroup New Zealand, says the partnership with Farmers provides mutually beneficial opportunities for both Oxipay and Farmers to continue to deepen their relationships with younger shoppers, describing them as a key demographic.
“Farmers is an iconic brand that continues to be the ‘go-to’ for Kiwis all over New Zealand. We’ve partnered with Farmers for many years to deliver one of New Zealand’s most successful store cards, Farmers Finance Card – now as the payments landscape diversifies in line with consumer demand, Oxipay provides a smart alternative to pay for those who either want to manage cash flow or those who may not want to commit to a credit card.”
The Farmers partnership has allowed Oxipay to broaden its exposure to young women via its strong offering in the beauty category. To promote the partnership, four key social influencers – Antoinette Bonbon, Stacey Banfield, The Style Insider and Makeup Obsessives – have shared their experiences of shopping with Oxipay on Farmers’ website.
“Farmers is such a strong brand and as Farmers amplifies its offering in the beauty category with the addition of premium brands like Kiehl’s, Mac, Tom Ford and Benefit, engaging with social influencers who not only live and breathe in the world of the beauty category but are also seeking smart ways to pay and manage their personal finances (just like their followers), was really important to us to ensure the content is real and resonates with the target audience,” Lamers says.
A quickly-emerging trend that Lamers has noted is younger Kiwi shoppers favouring debit cards as a way to manage personal finances. He says Millennial shoppers have embraced buy now, pay later products like Oxipay as a way to intelligently manage their cashflow and establish a credit footprint as they look towards applying for a home loan in the future.
“The Millennial generation is often portrayed negatively, as reckless and requiring instant gratification, however the behaviour that we are seeing is contrary to this and they are more savvy and more conservative in many ways than other generations,” Lamers says.
Oxipay’s popularity is down to the flexibility it offers customers, says Lamers. Around 200 new customers are registering to use Oxipay services each day. He believes instalment payment services like Oxipay are triggering a shift in the way consumers traditionally interact with credit by giving them choice, certainty and control.
“We know our customers enjoy interest-free options, simple payment terms along with the breathing space to buy now and manage payments over an extended period of time – so we’ve taken these key benefits and wrapped them into one simple payment solution.”
This appeal is translating into benefits for Oxipay’s retail partners. Retailers offering Oxipay are experiencing on average a 34 percent lift in transactions, along with a comparatively larger average transaction size.
“Because of this flexibility, shoppers may be more inclined to buy the items that they really want or need now as opposed to those items that they can only afford to pay for in full today,” Lamers says. “If a shopper uses their credit card in conjunction with Oxipay then the likelihood is that they are spreading the cost across two billing cycles which makes payments easier to manage.”
Once a shopper transacts a couple of times with Oxipay, Lamers says, the likelihood of their using Oxipay frequently and consistently increases dramatically. He expects Oxipay’s rapid growth to continue into 2018.
“Buy now, pay later is now a part of the payment offering that consumers expect. The model is taking off all over the world as it provides certainty. We are also seeing good support for other instalment products as an alternative way to pay.”
Lamers agrees that the partnership with Farmers is a key indication that instalment payment services like Oxipay have gone mainstream.
“In a very short space of time, Oxipay has earned its place at the table of established payment solutions sitting alongside debit and credit offerings – it is not only mainstream but an expected option for consumers.”