Latitude secures exclusive partnership with bill management service

Latitude Pay 1bill

LatitudePay, the buy now, pay later (BNPL) arm of credit card services group Latitude Financial, has secured an exclusive partnership deal with bill management platform 1bill.

The deal will enable 1bill users to tap into Latitude’s ‘pay-in-10’ service for utilities services payments, including for energy and telecommunications providers.

1bill, a bill management app, is an all-in-one mobile platform that allows consumers to upload, manage and pay bills from a range of different utilities providers. Users of the service can receive in-app bill reminders and automate bill payments, as well as bundle payments for multiple utilities.

The app also enables users to compare providers and switch “if a better deal is available in deregulated markets” – though this feature is currently limited to energy providers (with other verticals expected to be made available soon).

According to Latitude, the partnership represents the first bill management category for its LatitudePay service.

Through the new partnership, 1bill users can now select LatitudePay as their preferred payment method, enabling them to split bills across 10 weekly payments, interest-free – an instalment plan unique to LatitudePay’s service.

“Latitude and 1bill are a natural fit, as we want to make life easier by providing Australians with flexibility and choice when managing payments,” said David Gelbak, Latitude’s executive general manager, group development.

“This partnership represents the first in the bill management category for LatitudePay and demonstrates our strong value proposition to merchants and customers as well as the ongoing growth of our BNPL platform.”

“We’re also excited to be able to offer current LatitudePay customers the opportunity to manage, pay and track their bills in one convenient place.”

Neil Saligrama, 1bill chief executive, said the new will provide its customers “with great synergies and advantages for both businesses”.

Latitude recently moved to bolster its own BNPL arm with the acquisition in February this year of Humm’s consumer business for $335 million.

One of the ANZ region’s leading BNPLs, Humm Consumer brings to Latitude more than 2.6 million customers, relationships with around 60,000 merchants, and net receivables of $1.8 billion.

At the time of the deal, Humm said the acquisition would add “significant additional scale to Latitude’s business, supporting growth and consolidating its position as Australia and New Zealand’s leading non-bank consumer lender”.

Post-acquisition, the business will have more than $8 billion of gross receivables, $9.5 billion of transaction volume and more than five million customers.

Meanwhile, recently appointed financial services minister Stephen Jones said the Federal Government would move forward with its plans to regulate the BNPL sector under revised credit laws.

The sector has thus far resisted calls for regulation, arguing that its self-regulatory industry code of conduct offers sufficient protection for borrowers.

As BNPL providers technically do not offer credit, operators are currently exempt from existing national credit and responsible lending laws that protect borrowers.