Philippine-based consumer finance app BillEase, is now available as a payment option on Agoda, a global digital travel platform, giving Filipino travelers more flexibility to pay in installments even without a credit card.

This integration is enabled by Alipay+, a global cross- border digital payments and marketing solution operated by Ant Group, BillEase said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the partnership comes amidst international and domestic travel recovery in the Philippines.

BillEase recorded more than 26 times increase in buy now, pay later (BNPL) transactions in the travel category, in the first quarter of 2023, compared to the first quarter of 2022.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) also reported a 158 percent increase in number of passengers in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, while domestic travel is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels in the second half of 2023.

Launched in 2017, BillEase is an on-demand consumer credit app that provides personal loans, e-wallet top-ups, prepaid load, bills payment, gaming credits as well as a customizable BNPL which allows customers to avail of cardless installment plans.

Filipino travelers booking their next accommodation, flight, or local activities on Agoda can pay via BillEase’s Pay Later or installment options.

By selecting BillEase as a checkout option on both Agoda’s web and app platforms, travelers can split the total cost of purchases into either bi-weekly or monthly payments for as low as 0% interest, or with the market’s lowest interest rate for up to 12 months of installments.

“In a post-pandemic world where travel has been significantly impacted, our partnership with Agoda represents a significant shift in how Filipinos around the world can manage their travel expenses,” said Georg Steiger, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of BillEase.

According to him, the partnership empowers consumers to get back into the world of travel on their own terms, providing them with more financial flexibility and control.

“This way, they can begin to explore, reconnect, and create new memories without being burdened by the financial pressure of paying for their booking all at once,” he added.

Peng Yang, Vice President and Head of Alipay+, Ant Group, said the firm is proud to further its cooperation with BillEase as its first BNPL partner in the Philippines, to offer Filipinos more payment flexibility at a global online travel platform like Agoda.

According to him, catering to consumers’ diverse preferences for payments is now imperative for merchants.

“This is especially so in the Philippines and wider Southeast Asia, where consumers have become much more accustomed to digital lifestyles, with a growing preference for digital payments like e-wallets and BNPL,

“We look forward to working with more partners to reach these consumers and better serve their needs,” he added.

Earlier this year, BillEase and Alipay+ announced their partnership to enable local customers in the Philippines to complete online purchases at global merchants and pay in light, card-free installments.

Usage of BNPL is increasing in the Philippines and is further expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36.9 percent from 2022 to 2028.

BillEase is a consumer finance app in the Philippines with a focus on expanding access for mass and emerging middle-income consumers.

The firm is a product-focused fintech company leveraging machine learning technology in building financial products and global best practices in credit underwriting to meet the needs of unbanked customers in Southeast Asia.

Alipay+ offers unified global mobile payment and marketing solutions that connect merchants with multiple e-wallets and payment methods from different countries and regions by collaborating with global partners.

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