The man behind the company, Turochas Fuad, is a successful serial entrepreneur who has sold three start-ups, including coworking space Spacemob to WeWork and vacation rental site Travelmob to US-listed HomeAway. Nasdaq (now called Vrbo). In between dreaming up the next big idea, Fuad has held senior positions, such as general manager of WeWork Southeast Asia and Korea, as well as that of Skype Asia-Pacific.
Fuad, better known as “T” in the industry, is clear about his ambitions for Pace, which is represented by a horse logo indicating strength, stability and advancement. He said: “People know us today as the BNPL company, but we are certainly more than that. We’re actually a fintech company that wants to democratize finance in a way that empowers traditional financial institutions all the way to neo-banks. »
For the uninitiated, a BNPL payment is similar to installment purchase plans (IPPs), where banks and credit cards split payment for a big-ticket item into smaller monthly installments, with or without interest. The difference? The repayment period for a BNPL tends to be shorter (within three to four months versus six to 12 months for an IPP); consumers do not need to have a credit card or are limited to any particular bank or card, and it can be used on low-cost items such as cosmetics, clothing and other items of lifestyle.
In Asian markets such as India, Vietnam and Thailand, where credit card penetration rates are low, BNPL payments have huge potential. According to the 2021 report on global payments by the American fintech solutions provider FIS, they accounted for only 2.1% of global e-commerce transactions in 2020. This figure is expected to double by 2024. Closer to home, a study of 2021 showed that 38% of Singaporeans, around 1.1 million, have used a BNPL service, with those aged 25–44 being the most likely to have done so (43–44%).