After holding out for several months, ANZ (ASX:ANZ) has caved in and gotten into the BNPL space.

As the BNPL business model was embraced by consumers, the big banks one by one gradually entered the space.

CBA (ASX:CBA) and NAB (ASX:NAB) as well as Suncorp (ASX:SUN) and Citi launched BNPL products while Westpac (ASX:WBC) partnered with Afterpay (ASX:APT).


From skeptics to believers

ANZ meanwhile not just held out for several months but remained sceptical about the business model and its sustainability.

Back in March, ANZ’s boss Shayne Elliott said in an interview with Fairfax the idea that BNPL was stealing business from credit cards was “wildly exaggerated”.

ANZ’s content platform, Bluenotes, frequently contained articles questioning the BNPL model, most recently a piece authored by University of Melbourne finance professor Kevin Davis just one month ago – questioning if providers had a long term future beyond simply being “swallowed up” similar to Afterpay.

But today, ANZ has teamed up with Visa (NYSE:V) to offer the Visa Instalments BNPL solution in Australia, allowing ANZ’s card holders to use it during checkout.

Visa Instalments was first launched as a pilot in 2019 and operates in the US and Canada as well as Malaysia and Russia, but only now is expanding Down Under.

Visa said there was overwhelming demand in Australia for BNPL, citing a survey it conducted finding 90% of participants showed a high likelihood of using an instalments option from their issuing bank, and 85% said instalments would improve their relationship with their card provider.

And ANZ has admitted it too.

“We are always on the lookout for products and services that add genuine value to our customers and the ability to make instalment payments is a key feature that many of them want,” ANZ Head of Cards and Personal Lending Mike Shurlin declared.

“Visa Instalments ticks all the boxes in terms of its flexibility, security and ease-of-use, allowing us to add more optionality and create better experiences for our credit card customers.”

ANZ Bank (ASX:ANZ) share price chart