Opyn Pay Later: BNPL solution for the B2B market

Interview with Antonio Lafiosca, Co-Founder & COO at Opyn

What is the need from which Opyn Pay Later was born and who is it aimed at?

Opyn Pay Later is a type of short-term interest-free financing dedicated to the B2B market. The service allows, on the one hand, sellers to offer an additional credit service to the customer, and on the other hand, buyers to pay only part of the order at the time of purchase and to defer the rest of the amount in installments. We have found that the main need in the market is for more flexibility and simplicity in payment methods: well, with Opyn Pay Later it is possible and this makes the B2B world more inclusive and on par with the B2C world, always one step ahead on these issues. In particular, from the surveys we have carried out, it appears that the merchant’s need is to meet the customer’s availability without compromising its stability. Thanks to Opyn Pay Later, the seller gets 2/3 of the amount immediately, thus reducing the risk that any delays in payment will affect its liquidity. The buyer, on the other hand, has more time to pay, thus facilitating cash flow management, as well as the ability to up-sell and cross-sell product.

Why is it something new within the buy now pay later market?

Opyn Pay Later is the first Italian “Buy Now, Pay Later” service dedicated to the B2B market. Indeed, while the B2C sector is already well developed and known, the B2B sector has yet to emerge. Yet, according to a study by Hokodo, this segment is worth 2.5 times that dedicated to consumers. For this reason, we wanted to take up the challenge of devising and proposing a solution that could meet all the needs the business-to-business market requires.

Another innovation brought by Opyn Pay Later is that it can be used for both digital purchases (both remote and e-commerce) and physical in-store purchases through the “Pay by link” system for purchases up to 3K euros.

How do you expect the “Buy now, pay later” market to evolve on a European and international level?

The service is already active for the Italian market, but our goal is to reach Europe as well, during 2023.

We have to consider that the “Buy Now, Pay Later” market, according to Straits Research forecasts, will be worth more than $3.6 trillion by 2030 (with a 45% growth from 2022). Only in Italy, the sector will come to be worth 14.5 billion euros in 2025 (with an increase of 10.9% since 2021 – data from the B2C eCommerce Observatory of Politecnico di Milano). A market which, also internationally, is driven by the old continent: 8 of the 10 top players are located in Northwestern Europe, particularly Sweden and Germany. So we are talking about a sector expected to grow strongly in the coming years and in which we want to enter with a solution that differentiates itself from competitors.

Interview with Lexia Avvocati: the law firm for the fintech world

Lexia Avvocati is an independent law firm with extensive knowledge and experience in fintech, blockchain technology and Decentralized Finance (DeFi) dynamics. The firm supports Italian and foreign clients, such as banks, funds, exchange platforms, wallet providers and digital asset providers, in the launch and management of their operations in Italy and in dealing with the relevant regulatory authorities. Thanks to its multidisciplinary team, Lexia advises in relation to all issues affecting companies operating in the sector, starting from corporate, tax and regulatory issues to the fields of personal data protection, cybersecurity, intellectual property and consumer protection. We talked about it with Angelo Messore, partner at Lexia, and Francesco Dagnino, managing partner and founder.

What do you believe are the most important challenges to date from a legal perspective that the Fintech world is facing?

One of the main challenges for fintech projects is definitely the absence of a clear legal framework. Indeed, it is well known that technology develops faster than the law. But if the law does not provide a transparent environment for innovation, there cannot be a level playing field between innovative projects and market incumbents (or between domestic players and foreign competitors). An example can be seen in the recent EU regulation on crowdfunding, which Italy has not yet implemented. We know of a number of Italian crowdfunding platforms that are waiting for the Italian state to publish implementing regulations in order to become fully operational on a European scale. In these cases, the lack of a well-defined regulatory environment creates a clear competitive disadvantage for fintech companies.

Are there any major new developments in Europe that those operating in the fintech sector need to be aware of?

European institutions are often criticized for their overly conservative approach to regulating fintech entities compared to other countries. Indeed, they try to strike a balance between consumer and investor protection on the one hand and openness to technology and financial innovation on the other hand – a task certainly not easy to accomplish.
In recent years, the EU has taken several steps to stimulate innovation in the financial market, notably through the Fintech Action Plan and the Digital Finance Package. In this context, a key role in shaping the rules for Fintech operators will be played by the recently approved EU regulation on the “pilot regime” for tokenized financial instruments and the EU regulation on cryptocurrency markets. Other initiatives that Fintech operators should keep an eye on include the ongoing review of the EU anti-money laundering framework, the entry into force of the EU regulation on crowdfunding, the proposed legislation to create a legal framework for the use of artificial intelligence, and the current discussion on the regulation of buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) services.

When you work along with an emerging fintech company, what are the most frequent issues you face and how do you support it?

The crucial challenge we meet with our clients is to bridge the gap between the business idea they have and its implementation in accordance with the current regulatory framework. When working on Fintech projects, there are many technical, operational, business, financial, marketing, and legal issues. However, sometimes Fintech companies decide to postpone legal analysis by focusing on the other aspects of their project. In doing so, they underestimate the importance of the legal framework for defining their business model.
As legal advisors, we must first understand the innovative sector in which the client operates and its business model in order to design the best legal solution. Fintech companies operate in a highly regulated environment and must be aware of all the legal complexities of the sector in which they operate, as well as the opportunities that the regulatory framework offers them. We support founders in defining and structuring their business idea taking into account all relevant legal constraints, as well as in approaching regulators to identify the appropriate legal framework for their project.

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