Afterpay has launched a new digital card for customers as it dives into healthcare

Afterpay is moving into digital cards as it eyes the growing healthcare market. (Louie Douvis, SMH)
  • Afterpay has unveiled its new digital card designed to help it capture new merchants and expand into new industries.
  • Admitting the old system by which retailers had to scan a phone-generated barcode had become something of a sticking point, Afterpay now offers the card on both Apple and Google Pay.
  • Co-founder Nick Molnar told Business Insider Australia the transition will help the company move into new industries where BNPL platforms are increasingly competing, like healthcare.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Admitting there were flaws with how it’s been operating for the last five years, Afterpay is finally rolling out a digital card to customers via Apple and Google Pay.

Australia’s largest buy now, pay later platform now has a tap and go mobile payment option to replace its out-dated system, where in-store customers would have to produce a phone-generated barcode to make a purchase.

Unveiling the new card at an event in Sydney on Friday, director of in-store expansion Lynne Lagan said the barcode had become a sticking point in trying to sign up new retailers.

“There are already a lot of merchants that can now offer Afterpay in-store that haven’t be able to before due to issues with in-store legacy systems,” Lagan told Business Insider Australia. “It does give us the opportunity to enter into new verticals and expand our merchant base.”

The new look Afterpay card.

With the BNPL sector competing to deliver rapid growth to justify runaway share prices, the barcode system had been holding back its biggest player.

Both Lagan and Afterpay co-founder Nick Molnar noted the new wallet would help Afterpay as it continues to expand into the healthcare industry, splitting payments on things like dental services.

“The millennial cohort is not using health providers as frequently as other generations have before,” Molnar said.

“To be able to get the next generation to engage with the health they want and give them the flexibility to make the transaction when they may not have necessarily budgeted for the filling at the dentist is a really important part of our value proposition.”

As a sector that was born catering for the fast-fashion industry, BNPL has in recent times begin looking further afield for new growth.

Platforms like Openpay are but one specialised example, offering higher levels of lending on longer terms to explicitly cater for families splitting major expenses. It moved earlier this month to cover private hospital procedures.

Others are looking to the space as well, with Afterpay splitting dental, skincare, and cosmetic services, while you can split everything from fertility treatments to hearing aids with Humm.

Unlike all three, Zip’s digital card launch last year means it can be used to pay for anything in so far as its Visa card is accepted, without having to sign up individual merchants.

For everyone else, the race is on.

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