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Buy-now-pay-later fintech Zilch lands FCA authorisation

The fintech first gained FCA approval five months ago and has been closely working with the FCA over the past year.

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Philip Belamant/Zilch

London-based Zilch has today become one of the first home-grown buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) fintechs to gain consumer credit authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).  

Zilch uses open banking, in partnership with fellow London-based fintech Credit Kudos, as well as soft credit checks to assess a customer’s creditworthiness and affordability. 

Speaking with AltFi last week, CEO and founder Philip Belamant, teased the upcoming announcement: “The FCA gave us our initial authorisation five months ago and we are looking forward to some pretty big news on that, which we believe we will be getting soon.” 

“We really feel like between out open banking integration, the way we’re doing affordability and interacting with the regulator, we really feel like we are providing the most responsible way to pay over time,” Belamant added. 

Unlike traditional BNPL fintech, such as the likes of Klarna and Clearpay,Zilch allows customers to pay in interest-free instalments at any online retailer where Mastercard is accepted, not just the ones supported by its platform. 

Through the use of open banking, the fintech ensures that customers can afford to repay their deferred purchases by using real-time insights into a consumer’s financial wellbeing and current expenditure. 

Ahead of its authorisation from the FCA,Zilch was part of the regulator’s sandbox programme. 

Belamant told AltFi: “We were accepted into cohort five of the sandbox programme. So, over the last 12 months, we’ve been working with the FCA on affordability. How we’re assessing it and how we’re tracking it.” 

Just like other buy-now-pay-later fintechs, Zilch has experienced rapid growth over the past year. 

The fintech saw its quarterly growth shoot up by 120 per cent and is adding 30,000 registered users to its platform every month. 

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Philip Belamant

Founder and CEO


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