Malaysia-listed payment solutions firm GHL System Bhd has teamed up with Singapore-based Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) platform Atome to expand its payment offerings regionally across four countries–Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia.

The group’s payment touchpoints across these countries will now be able to offer Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) payment options to consumers, following the partnership.

The GHL-Atome regional partnership enables more merchants across Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia to offer BNPL payment options to consumers, and addresses increasing consumer demand for deferred payment methods.

This alternative payment solution will enhance customers’ shopping and payment experience, and at the same time, support local retailers and businesses across the region with increased sales amidst the retail crunch during the COVID-19 pandemic, GHL said.

“The pandemic-driven shift to online shopping has created an urgent need to improve & boost the e-commerce customer experience. This partnership will broaden the payment experience across thousands of point-of-sale checkouts, with the right assortment of payment options, throughout GHL’s vast merchant network in the region,” GHL Group Chief Executive Officer Sean Hesh said in a statement on Tuesday.

Offering consumers the option to spread their purchases into three easy monthly payments at zero interest, BNPL provides benefits that include: improving cash flow, increasing order value as well as promoting customer loyalty by making purchases more affordable, GHL said.

In Malaysia and Singapore, merchants who opted for Atome’s BNPL experienced an average 17 percent increase in their ticket order size.

“We are excited to partner with GHL to expand seamless BNPL acceptance for online and offline merchants across the region. Our regional partnership will support merchants in enabling a superior shopping and checkout experience for consumers, both in-store and online websites, which in turn will accelerate merchant business growth and recovery as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Atome Chief Executive Officer David Chen.

The partnership comes as BNPL model has gained popularity in several regions globally including Southeast Asia. The ongoing pandemic has helped to accelerate the uptake of BNPL as commerce increasingly moves online and consumers look for alternatives to better manage their finances. The payment option enables consumers to avoid increasing credit card and other debts as many BNPL solutions offered are interest-free with no hidden costs. BNPL allows consumers to split the cost for smaller-ticket items.

Listed in Malaysia since 2003, GHL operates in six countries including Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and Australia–stretching over a footprint of 383,600 payment touchpoints across the region. GHL prides itself as a one-stop provider for both offline and online e-payment solutions, with over 27 years of expertise.

Founded in 2016, Atome is part of Advance Intelligence Group, a Series-C AI-driven technology company in Asia-Pacific. It leverages innovative technology and partnerships to build an ecosystem of products and services serving consumers, enterprises, and merchants. The Group is headquartered in Singapore and has a presence across Southeast Asia, India, and Greater China.

Challenges and opportunities as Buy Now, Pay Later shopping gains traction in Malaysia