The Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) share price is on watch today. This comes after its official launch in Southern Europe with merchants in France, Spain, and Italy. While Afterpay has yet to release an announcement on the ASX, co-founder and Co-CEO Nick Molnar confirmed the launch this morning.
At the time of writing, the Afterpay share price is trading at $111.30, up 2.74%.
Clearpay to bring the Afterpay share price to Europe
Afterpay previously announced the completion of its Pagantis acquisition on 10 March. It hinted that Spain, France, and Italy would be the first countries to go live through its subsidiary, Clearpay. The company’s commentary cited that these three countries combined have an addressable e-commerce market that exceeds 150 billion euros.
In Afterpay’s half-year results presentation, the company highlights buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) as an emerging participant in the $9.4 trillion global retail market. By geography, North America, the European Union, the UK, and ANZ represent a respective 60.5%, 27.5%, 7.5%, and 4.5% of the global retail market. The presentation also noted Afterpay had over a $1 billion pipeline of global merchants in process of contracting for the EU.
With the green light obtained from the Bank of Spain, Afterpay now has the ability to provide its products to a broader market. This includes Germany and Portugal, alongside its launch in France, Spain, and Italy today.
Comments from the CEO
Nick Molnar further commented on the recent growth in e-commerce and entry into Europe:
In the last year, global ecommerce grew faster than it had in the last ten years. By introducing Clearpay, we are giving Europeans a better way to access the things they want and need in their lives via a flexible payment service that allows shoppers to spend their own money and pay over time – instead of turning to expensive loans and credit cards which come with interest, fees and revolving debt.
Afterpay has taken the first-mover advantage into the EU. This puts it ahead of ASX-listed BNPL rivals such as Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) and Sezzle Inc (ASX: SZL). Zip currently has two minority investments providing the company leverage into the United Arab Emirates, Czechia, and Poland.
The Afterpay share price has pushed higher this afternoon and is currently 2.85% higher at the time of writing.