South African Shoppers Are Increasingly Catching A BNPL Bug

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South African customers who have used buy now pay later (BNPL) to purchase goods would overwhelmingly recommend it as a payment method. This is according to a report by one of the country’s notable BNPL players. In contrast, customers of South African banks aren’t even half as likely to recommend financial services from their banks.

All these emerged in a survey of over 7,300 customers of BNPL fintech Payflex, who gave the service a Net Promoter Score of +82. The concept known as “Net Promoter Score” describes the likelihood that customers will recommend a particular product or service and is a good indicator of customer retention. In an independent customer satisfaction index released in March 2022 (SAcsi), retail banking received an average score of just 36.

Paul Behrmann, Payflex CEO, says customers like the convenience of making staggered payments for goods at zero interest. “Those surveyed highlighted being able to get their goods immediately without needing to pay for it upfront as a benefit. They say it helps them budget better. In addition, Payflex has one of the highest customer retention rates in the South African financial market.”

Payflex is one of the most visible companies in the rapidly growing BNPL market in South Africa. Its BNPL service allows shoppers to pay for their online purchases in a series of four equal interest-free instalments. Payflex customers can apply in seconds and pay with any Visa, Mastercard or American Express card. Payflex launched with Superbalist.com (one of SA’s leading online fashion merchants) in 2019 and is now offered at over 1,500 online merchants.

Payflex was recently acquired by global BNPL leader Zip, which has over 11.4 million customers globally. “Payflex’s net promoter score is among the highest in the Zip group” says Behrmann. 

A reported 89 percent of Payflex customers who have used the service in the last three months plan to continue using Payflex BNPL in the next six months.

“Payflex is available at over 1,500 online merchants and is moving into the physical retail space, with a pilot project currently underway. The timing is good as the most common request from customers surveyed is availability at even more merchants,” says Behrmann.

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