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Centrix And ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ Providers Launch World-first PayWatch Initiative To Deepen Customer Protections

New Zealand’s local credit bureau, Centrix, and the nation’s leading Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) providers, have launched PayWatch – a world-first initiative designed to help protect consumers using multiple BNPL services when they are in financial difficulty.

PayWatch is the first credit reporting system to reflect the innovation of BNPL, allowing Afterpay, Zip and Laybuy, which together represent more than 90% of BNPL customers, the ability to share overdue account data daily and flag when a consumer is behind on repayments.

PayWatch is tailor-made and purpose-built for BNPL, designed to be suitable for short-term loans that traditional credit reporting systems have been ill-equipped to cater for.

PayWatch gives BNPL providers valuable information about a consumer’s credit risk as they assess new account applications and monitor existing customers. Importantly, it ensures that BNPL providers are aware if a prospective new customer is behind on their existing repayments with another BNPL provider.

Centrix chief operating officer Monika Lacey says PayWatch will deliver positive consumer outcomes and help reduce the number of people getting further into debt by improving data sharing between BNPL providers.

“Unlike the existing Comprehensive Credit Reporting, which supports traditional credit products and their monthly payment cycles, this dynamic and near real-time system captures BNPL repayment performance on a daily basis, giving BNPL providers an accurate view of someone’s indebtedness status more frequently,” says Lacey.

“Our goal is for all BNPL providers in Aotearoa New Zealand to opt into PayWatch to combat the accumulation of debt by those who face financial difficulty and support healthy consumer relationships with credit products.”

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