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AUB, Atome launch BNPL credit card

ASIA UNITED Bank Corp. (AUB) has partnered with buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform provider Atome and Singapore-based financial technology (fintech) firm MatchMove to launch Atome Card in the Philippines as it expects the sector to continue growing.

“This tripartite partnership and innovation between a digital-first financial services provider like AUB, a BNPL leader like Atome, and a fintech like MatchMove will help further accelerate financial inclusion of the unbanked and underbanked in the Philippines,” AUB’s head of Operations and Technology Group Wilfredo E. Rodriguez said in a statement on Thursday.

Atome Payment Partnerships Director Magic Tang said this is the first time the company is introducing the Atome Card to consumers in the Philippines, “thanks to the great partnership we enjoy with AUB and MatchMove.”

“We’re excited for the collaboration with Atome and AUB and the launch of the innovative Atome Card because it is aligned with the MatchMove goal of delivering secure and smooth spend, send and lend solutions. The Philippines has an increasing population of digital users and the card not only reaches out to the underbanked sector, but also empowers them by giving them the luxury of time, choice and seamless control of their finances,” MatchMove Chief Executive Officer Shailesh Naik said.

The credit card has no income requirement. Consumers can register their interest in getting an Atome Card via the latest version of the Atome app or Atome’s website. Selected consumers will receive an e-mail inviting them to apply for the card.

There are no annual fees, sign-up fees or other charges for the card. The virtual or physical card can be used at any in-store or online retailer that accepts Mastercard.

The card allows users to buy now and pay up to 45 days later with a P200,000 credit limit. Clients can view and manage their payment schedule through the Atome app.

AUB’s Mr. Rodriguez said the Atome Card offers consumers flexibility and access to quality products and services through digital commerce.

He said BNPL allows Filipino consumers to pay less at the point of purchase, without worrying about higher rates when completing their payment later on.

Citing the fourth-quarter 2021 BNPL survey of Research and Markets.com, AUB said BNPL payment in the country is expected to grow by 109.7% year on year to reach P45.2 billion in 2022, as demand for flexible and convenient payment solutions continues to increase.

Atome launched in the Philippines in October last year, with over 600 online and offline retail partners. In the region, it is also affiliated with over 15,000 online and offline retailers in nine other markets, namely: Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Japan. 

Meanwhile, MatchMove is licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and is authorized by card networks to issue virtual and physical cards globally with partner banks.

MatchMove has offices in India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

AUB and its subsidiaries saw their consolidated net income surge in the first semester amid a higher total operating income and lower loan loss provisions.

The group’s consolidated net profit was at P2.9 billion in the first half of the year, rising by 50% from the P1.9 billion seen a year prior.

AUB’s shares went up by 30 centavos or 0.70% to close at P42.90 each on Thursday. — K.B. Ta-asan

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