Voice of the Industry

BNPL technology: harness card rails for a smooth ride

Monday 6 November 2023 08:31 CET | Editor: Raluca Ochiana | Voice of the industry

Rudy Gunawan, Managing Director of OpenWay Asia, and Lana Konakova, Global Product Marketing Manager, Regional Marketing in North and South America, share insights on payment processing technology that is required to meet BNPL customer expectations for on-POS, ecommerce and in-app checkouts.


Rising BNPL delinquency rates are leading to regulatory changes in many countries, with new compliance rules anticipated in the UK, US, and APAC. In Europe, a new proposal would revise the Consumer Credit Directive and bring BNPL schemes within its scope.

An emerging trend is to launch BNPL products on card rails, which offer the advantage of predictable compliance. Moreover, they are cost-effective for expanding the acceptance network, as Visa and Mastercard merchants commonly support BNPL cards.

Several companies use OpenWay’s Way4 platform to issue BNPL cards:

  • In 2006, Procco Financial Services in Bahrain launched open- and closed-loop BNPL cards with multiple tenure options on POS.

  • In 2020, OpenWay and Nets in Europe jointly won a PayTech award as the Best Consumer Payments Initiative. A processor within Nexi Group, Nets enables banks, retailers, and fintechs to launch BNPL products within two to three months.

  • In 2021, South Korean brand LOTTE selected Way4 and introduced PayLater, one of Vietnam's first ecommerce BNPL solutions.

  • In 2023, Japanese brand JACCS migrated to Way4 to enhance digital-first customer experiences in Vietnam, launching BNPL services and a digital wallet.

While OpenWay’s clients operate different BNPL business models in various regions, we observe similarities in what makes their customer offering attractive, compliant, and profitable. Here is our checklist of must-have technology for BNPL providers.

Why platform integration capabilities matter

Sebastian Elbel, Head of Lending Products at Nets, explained the importance of online integration with external systems during a BNPL webinar in 2022: ‘For us, the underlying technology, the platform, needs to support all these easy processes. This is to enable a seamless user experience, to have all the relevant integrations and components.’ Among things critical for Nets, he mentioned support for direct debit and for multiple KYC methods.

Integration matters not only for a smooth customer journey, but also for compliance. Due to forthcoming regulations, the BNPL industry is likely to adopt a more profound scoring standard based on online data exchange with companies like Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

OpenWay clients integrate Way4 with third-party services leveraging rich APIs. Also available are off-the-shelf interfaces to various national switches and international payment networks, KYC, and credit bureaus.

360-degree customer solvency analysis

Way4 allows each OpenWay client to configure its unique BNPL scoring scenarios. To apply the scenario optimal to each customer, the platform conducts a real-time analysis of customer accounts, cards, and repayment plans. Way4 also checks the credit balance of third-party cards linked to the customer’s mobile wallet, and it can stream various types of external data. Nets, for example, examines bank statements, bill payment histories, surveys, social media websites, ecommerce transactions, and mobile money payments.

Way4’s online data analysis provides an insightful picture of the customer’s financial situation. If the total existing debt exceeds a certain threshold or fails to meet requirements, the new loan is declined on the fly – or the customer is offered an alternative repayment plan.

Real-time processing for frictionless checkout

No matter how much data is analysed, BNPL onboarding should be quick. According to Shopify, 60% of customers abandon their carts if the checkout process takes too long. Way4 can onboard new BNPL customers or activate pre-approved loans in a matter of seconds thanks to its architecture, which features a 24/7 online back and front office, real-time front-to-back reconciliation, and online accounting.

Kim Jong Geuk, CEO of LOTTE Finance, highlights the key role of real-time processing: ‘It was important for us to find a technological solution that would allow us to take into account the requirements of large online retailers in Vietnam for a seamless checkout experience.’ Relying on Way4, this lender has signed up the flight and hotel booking provider Vntrip.vn and the marketplace Tiki.

BNPL personalisation

Consumers aren’t all alike in their loan preferences. Some ask for longer terms with lesser repayments, others want to choose a currency for each new BNPL card, and those who avoid impulse purchases use only pre-approved loans. To generate a targeted offer, our platform analyses over 40 transaction parameters in real time and historic data like the customer’s repayment patterns.

Sebastian Elbel shared more ways to personalise the customer experience: ‘One of our core services is to convert a card transaction into an instalment. It might also be interesting to combine multiple transactions into a single instalment plan.’

The personalised form factor also matters. As many customers don’t favour plastic cards, Way4 can issue virtual BNPL cards that are instantly available via mobile wallet for on-POS, ecommerce, and in-app purchases. Way4 also supports wallet-only BNPL accounts, a plus in largely unbanked markets where card rails are less relevant.


About the authors

Rudy Gunawan is the Managing Director of OpenWay Asia, the top-rated vendor of the Way4 digital payment software platform. He has been active in the payment industry for 20 years, serving as a consultant to businesses in the Middle East and Asia–Pacific. In his current leadership role at OpenWay, he oversees the company's operations in Asia while promoting the board’s strategic initiatives.



Lana Konakova is OpenWay’s Global Product Marketing Manager who oversees go-to-market strategies to launch new digital payments solutions and projects in global markets. Based in Canada, she also manages OpenWay’s marketing activities in North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Lana has 20 years of B2B marketing and communications experience, specialising in the payment processing and ecommerce domains. Earlier in her career, she worked on a team that developed one of the first global ecommerce software platforms.


About OpenWay

OpenWay provides the Way4 digital payments software platform for tier-1, mid-size, and startup players – including card issuers, acquirers, processors, telcos, payment switches, fleet companies, and digital wallet providers. Gartner, Omdia, and Aite have ranked OpenWay as the best digital payments software provider and the best payment solution in the cloud.

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Keywords: payment methods, BNPL, customer experience, KYC, ecommerce, digital wallet, banks, carding
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: OpenWay
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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