BillEase, a consumer finance app based in the Philippines, has teamed up with global digital travel platform Agoda to offer Filipino travelers the convenience of installment payments without the need for a credit card. This collaboration is made possible through the integration of Alipay+, a cross-border digital payments and marketing solution operated by Ant Group.
The partnership comes at a time when international and domestic travel in the Philippines is rebounding. In the first quarter of 2023, BillEase saw a remarkable 26-fold increase in buy now, pay later (BNPL) transactions in the travel category compared to the same period in 2022. Meanwhile, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) reported a 158% surge in passenger numbers during the first quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year, and domestic travel is anticipated to return to pre-pandemic levels in the latter half of 2023.
Established in 2017, BillEase is an on-demand consumer credit app that offers various financial services, including personal loans, e-wallet top-ups, prepaid load, bill payments, gaming credits, and customizable BNPL options that allow customers to avail themselves of installment plans without requiring a credit card.
Filipino travelers making bookings on Agoda for accommodations, flights, or local activities can now choose to pay through BillEase’s Pay Later or installment options. By selecting BillEase at the checkout on Agoda’s website or app, travelers have the flexibility to split their total purchase cost into bi-weekly or monthly payments, with interest rates as low as 0% or the market’s most competitive rates for up to 12 months.
Georg Steiger, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of BillEase, expressed the significance of the partnership with Agoda, stating, “In a post-pandemic world where travel has been significantly impacted, our partnership with Agoda represents a significant shift in how Filipinos around the world can manage their travel expenses. It empowers consumers to get back into the world of travel on their own terms, providing them with more financial flexibility and control. This way, they can begin to explore, reconnect, and create new memories without being burdened by the financial pressure of paying for their booking all at once.”
Peng Yang, Head of Alipay+, Ant Group, emphasized the importance of catering to diverse payment preferences, saying, “We are proud to further our cooperation with BillEase as our first BNPL partner in the Philippines, to offer Filipinos more payment flexibility at a global online travel platform like Agoda. Catering to consumers’ diverse preferences for payments is now imperative for merchants. This is especially so in the Philippines and wider Southeast Asia, where consumers have become much more accustomed to digital lifestyles, with a growing preference for digital payments like e-wallets and BNPL. We look forward to working with more partners to reach these consumers and better serve their needs.”
Earlier this year, BillEase and Alipay+ announced their partnership, enabling local customers in the Philippines to complete online purchases at global merchants and make light, card-free installment payments. The usage of BNPL services is rising in the Philippines and is expected to continue growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36.9% from 2022 to 2028.