Australian buy now, pay later platform, Afterpay, recorded staggering growth in the first half of the 2019 financial year (1H19), thanks to strong Christmas sales.


A slew of new users joining up to the platform during the period, saw underlying sales increase by 140 per cent, from $918 million in 1H18 to $2.2 billion in 1H19.


Afterpay said that December was it's biggest ever month on record, thanks to Christmas sales in both online and physical retail stores.


Over 23,000 merchants globally now have Afterpay as a payment option, while during the past twelve months, 3.1 million shoppers worldwide were actively using the system. The customer base is growing at an average of 7,500 new customers a day.


In Australia, one in four millennials have used Afterpay, while 2.5 million customers and over 21,500 retailers have transacted with the platform in the past 12 months.


In-store Afterpay sales represent 16 per cent of the the total Australia and New Zealand underlying sales, increasing four-fold compared to the corresponding period.


Afterpay has also managed to reduce gross losses and has also reduced customer's late fees, with this revenue only making up approximately 20 per cent of the business' total income.


Afterpay said in its ASX report, that it was glad to see the capping of late fees was having a healthy impact on the business.


“Afterpay was created to provide customers with a better alternative to traditional credit products. It is a free service if customers pay on time and our business and operating model is designed to champion the customer and promote responsible customer spending.


“It is in our financial interest to only deal with customers who can and do use Afterpay regularly as a free service.


“We are committed to continuous improvement and it is pleasing to see initiatives such as the capping of late fees instigated in 2018 having a positive impact.”


To read the full report, click here.


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