This has been the year when the 'buy now pay later' bandwagon has really picked up speed in the UAE. Leading retail groups are already tying up with such service providers, which help shoppers pay off in installments and at zero interest rate. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Gulf's 'buy now pay later' platforms remain firm favourites with investors, with Spotii being the latest to pick up new funding, this one from Australia's Zip Co..

Spotii currently has its presence in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, where it has brought on board more than 600 retailers. Under BNPL schemes, shoppers get to pick up goods or service from a retailer and can then pay off the bill in four installments within a set period. And they don't get to pay interest rates on the balance.

The Zip tie-up will help Spotii to expand that geographic reach. Plus, Spotii-affiliated merchants in the region will be able access opportunities in the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Zip is a leading BNPL service provider and publicly listed.

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More coming on board

Through the buy now pay later option, Spotii's merchants have raised their "customer acquisition" numbers - with a 40 per cent lift in new customers, while the average order value has risen by 70 per cent.

Another BNPL service provider in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, tabby, also pulled in some sizeable funding support from strategic investors, who see possibilities for super-charged growth in an environment where consumers are still cautious about their spending.

“Buy Now Pay Later is booming globally - and the region is no different," said Anuscha Iqbal, CEO of Spotii. "The pandemic has accelerated the need to provide new solutions to merchants and consumers alike in a period of rapid digital adoption.

"Spotii has been working to create a consortium of strategic partnerships with best-in-class organizations in the payments and technology sector, first with Microsoft, then with Mastercard and now with Zip."