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New Zealand-Based Payments Firm Laybuy Launches in the UK

Laybuy, a New Zealand-based payment processing firm that allows customers to pay for purchases in installments, is launching in the U.K.

Laybuy said its system will be available for online purchases from Footasylum Plc, a British shoe and apparel retailer, starting Monday, and in the chain’s 70 stores in the U.K. later this year. The payment company has also signed up about 100 other U.K. merchants, Gary Rohloff, Laybuy’s co-founder and managing director, said in an interview.

Laybuy competes with Sweden’s Klarna Bank AB, which also lets consumers pay in installments for online purchases, as well as PayPal’s Credit product. Rohloff said it differentiates itself by not charging interest—the company only makes money on a commission the merchant pays—and by allowing consumers to use Laybuy in stores as well as online. The company takes payments in six weekly installments.

“When someone misses a payment with us, we just suspend the account so they can’t get into a debt spiral,” Rohloff said.

Laybuy said in a statement that merchants offering its installment option increase the likelihood customers will complete a purchase, boost the average value of transactions and draw more new customers. Laybuy charges the installments to a customer’s debit or credit card.

The company was founded in 2016 by Rohloff, a veteran retail executive, and his son Alex Rohloff. It said it has 375,000 users in New Zealand and more than 3,750 online and physical stores offering its payment method. Laybuy is also available in Australia.