Technology platform AppToPay has been snapped up by Secure Trust Bank PLC.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022 as AppToPay Ltd is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

It will support Secure Trust Bank’s planned entry into the digital ‘buy now pay later’ market.

STB, through its V12 Retail Finance business, is already a leading provider of point-of-sale retail finance, with a network of more than 1,400 retailers and more than 840,000 consumers, and currently specialises in providing larger, longer-duration loans. 

The acquisition – for a ‘small amount’, according to STB – will see it enter a market focused on smaller-sized, shorter-duration loans. STB plans to integrate the AppToPay platform with its existing technology capabilities to offer a regulated digital BNPL product. 

This will enable STB to introduce this new digital BNPL offering across its existing retailer network alongside its current retail finance products through a new brand, AppToPay, with a launch planned for H1 2022.

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“V12 Retail Finance has already built a strong, established position in point-of-sale retail finance, thanks to its strong relationships and embedded technology with many of the UK’s leading retailers and extensive market knowledge,” said STB CEO David McCreadie. 

“This transaction is a natural next step for us, opening up attractive new opportunities for our existing customers and providing us with access to a new, fast-growing specialist lending market.

“The credit market is undergoing a structural transformation; digital BNPL has already been welcomed by a large number of consumers in the UK and is fast becoming established as a mainstream alternative payment option due to its ease of use and interest free pricing. 

“We have no doubt that this market will continue to grow rapidly, and that STB is very well-placed to capitalise on the opportunity.”