ASX buy now, pay later (BNPL) shares suffered through June, falling as much as 58% in just 30 days.
Interestingly, most ASX-listed companies in the field were silent during this time. Here's how the ASX's most renowned BNPL shares performed last month:
- Zip Co Ltd (ASX: ZIP) – fell 52%
- Humm Group Ltd (ASX: HUM) – fell 47%
- Sezzle Inc (ASX: SZL) – fell 53.5%
- Block Inc (ASX: SQ2) – fell 28%
- Splitit Ltd (ASX: SPT) – fell 58%
So, what inspired such a dismal period for ASX BNPL shares? Let's take a look.
What dragged ASX BNPL shares down in June?
Inflation, rates, and potential regulation, oh my. ASX BNPL shares suffered through yet another month of uncertainty in June.
Increasing rates make debt more expensive and, as a result, generally slows the economy, my Fool colleague Brendon Lau reports.
Pricier debt is often a hit to companies' bottom lines. But BNPL companies face even greater challenges in such an environment.
A slower economy increases the likelihood that BNPL users default on payments, creating more bad debts.
Additionally, consumer sentiment tends to waver when rates rise. That could see fewer customers forking out on purchases they would otherwise use BNPL services to cover.
And finally, the regulation of BNPL companies has been flagged once more. Federal Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones is reportedly expected to introduce legislation to do just that in the near future.
There was also some notable drama among ASX BNPL shares last month.
Drama in Humm's camp
While most ASX BNPL shares stayed silent through June, the Humm board was reshaped into a battleground.
Five of the company's six board members announced their resignation last week after its remaining director campaigned against the now-scrapped sale of its BNPL leg.
Humm founding director and major shareholder Andrew Abercrombie fought against the company's plan to sell its consumer finance business to Latitude Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: LFS) in a previously proposed mostly-scrip deal.
The company previously noted the business had failed to turn a profit in 2022.