Buy-now pay-later (BNPL) operator Openpay (ASX: OPY) has announced its entry into the US and UK veterinary markets today via a new partnership with New Zealand-based ezyVet.
The move represents the formal launch of OPY in the US and triggers the expansion of the group's UK arm into the healthcare sector.
Under the deal, Openpay will be integrated as a payment option within ezyVet's vet practice management software, giving pet owners flexibility to pay bills of up to $20,000 over a duration of up to 24 months.
ezyVet is a cloud-based practice management software for veterinary practices, supporting more than 2,000 practices globally, 1,200 of which are in the US.
Openpay plans making its BNPL option available to ezyVet customers in the UK before the end of FY21, and in early FY22 for those in the US.
The move builds on OPY's existing partnership with ezyVet for Australian customers, established in September 2020.
"We launched with ezyVet in September last year in Australia to enable pet owners and their fur babies to access Openpay," OPY CEO Michael Eidel said.
"With a surge in the number of pets being brought into families through COVID-19 lockdowns, this relationship really took off as people sought smarter ways to budget and pay for pet care.
"We're delighted to be taking the successful model and trusted partnership with ezyVet to our US and UK operations."
ezyVet CFO Pete Brown said the company was attracted to OPY's BNPL platform because of the variety of sectors it targets, including healthcare, automotive, education, and home improvement.
"We like Openpay because it doesn't restrict itself to just one vertical. Customers can use it for petcare, dentist and optometrist appointments, they can even service their car," Brown said.
"This increases the likelihood of customers already having the application on their phone."
OPY USA CEO and global chief strategy officer Brian Shniderman says the move sees the BNPL operator tapping into a sector worth $72 billion.
"In the US, owners spend an average of US$1,380 (AUD$1785.50) on their dogs which make up the majority of pets in US households," says Shniderman.
"We plan to be just as loyal to our customers as dogs are to their human families by giving them the ability to pay for unexpected illnesses and injuries that afflict all of their cherished pets."
Shares in OPY are up 2.97 per cent to $2.77 per share at 11.08am AEDT.Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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