Fatfish Group completes 55% acquisition of Malaysia’s Pay Direct

Fatfish Group ASX FFG acquisition Malaysia Pay Direct QlicknPay
Fatfish chief executive officer Kin W Lau said the Pay Direct acquisition accelerates the company’s goal of rolling-out BNPL and other financing services in South East Asia.

Less than one month since announcing its intention to acquire a majority stake in Malaysian payment gateway provider Pay Direct Technology Sdn Bhd, technology venture capital firm Fatfish Group (ASX: FFG) has completed the transaction.

The company confirmed today it had finalised the $470,000 deal to land a 55% interest in Pay Direct, which operates payment gateway technology suite QlicknPay allowing financial institutions to rapidly onboard merchants to accept online payments.

Fatfish first announced the proposed acquisition in April saying it would accelerate its buy now pay later (BNPL) strategy and other digital financing services in South East Asia.

Pay Direct currently processes $32 million in monthly transactions and $380 million annually.

Its clients include multinational OCBC Bank (Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation) and Public Bank, one of Malaysia’s most profitable financial institutions and the sixth largest in south-east Asia.

More than 500 merchants process online payments through QlicknPay including Wise (formerly TransferWise) and lifestyle tea brand TeaLive.

The Pay Direct transaction follows Fatfish’s $870,000 majority equity purchase in Malaysia’s Forever Pay Sdn Bhd announced in April.

Forever Pay has a money lending licence issued by the Malaysian government, allowing it to conduct financing business for consumers and corporates including retail BNPL services.

Popular payments option

BNPL is becoming an increasingly popular payments option for shoppers in South East Asia.

A recent consumer survey in Singapore found an estimated 1.1 million people (or 38% of the population) have used a BNPL service, suggesting the trend is gathering steam in Asia amid COVID-19 uncertainties, an accelerated shift to e-commerce and an increase in the use of mobile payment apps.

Globally, the BNPL market is set to grow from $9.42 billion in 2019 to $43.3 billion in 2027 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.2%.

The Asia Pacific region is expected to become the fastest-growing sector of the global market due to rising number of internet users.

In 2020, it was estimated around 40 million new users joined South East Asia’s digital economy, boosting the total number of internet users in the region to around 400 million.

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